February 12, 2010

DECLARATION FROM THE KENYAN NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE November 12 – 15, 2009, Nairobi, Kenya




DECLARATION FROM THE KENYAN NATIONAL YOUTH CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
November 12 – 15, 2009, Nairobi, Kenya

We, the youth of Kenya, attending the second National Youth Conference on Climate Change (NYCCC) from November 12 to 15 2009 in Nairobi Kenya are concerned that the impacts of climate change are severely affecting our country and our communities. We are saddened by the slow speed of the climate negotiations at the international level.) We are saddened that 3.8 million of us are in need of food aid due to drought; farmers, fishermen, and pastoralists have lost their source of livelihoods due to extreme weather events such as droughts and floods; and our people are facing serious threats to their lives and livelihoods.

We strongly acknowledge the great beauty of our country; the diverse wildlife, the breathtaking landscapes, the scenic coastal line and the industrious people; all these are threatened if we don’t act now.

Our country does not have sufficient water as a result of erratic rainfall and drying up of lakes and rivers from the water towers, which has led to frequent electricity supply cuts, thus compromising productivity in all major sectors. We are facing enormous crises of water, energy, and food, not to mention tropical diseases such as Malaria, as a result of climate change.

We cannot go on like this.....
Considering that the risks related to climate change are increasing in intensity and frequency, based on the recent research of the fourth assessment report of the IPCC, we call for concerted efforts to ensure that the emissions of greenhouse gases are deeply cut. We further call for urgent action to support and protect communities in Kenya that are already facing tremendous challenges related to climate change.

Are our priorities right?

We call upon the Kenyan government to:
• Take the responsibility to prioritize sustainable development and provide leadership in the protection of minority communities and vulnerable groups;
• Demand that Annex 1 countries cut their emissions by at least 40 % below the 1990 levels, provide technological support and adequate finances for adaptation;
• Demand that the processes and negotiations towards the 15Th Conference of the Parties (COP15) remain ambitious and result oriented in a legally binding agreement as opposed to meaningless declarations;
• Ensure quality and adequate representation of our country in climate negotiations, and specifically to COP 15 in Copenhagen and other future international engagements;
• Honour commitments you made at the 4th special Africa Ministerial Conference on Environment (AMCEN) session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in October 2009 by increasing and supporting the participation of youth in COP15 through including them in the official government delegation and further liaising with the youth on national and international processes after the COP 15.
• Ensure that forests are protected to act as carbon sinks through transparent forest governance structures and support mechanisms; rights to indigenous peoples and local communities; and conservation of biodiversity;
• Empower the youth through Capacity building, training and enact a youth climate fund to support youth lead adaptation and mitigation projects through CDF, LATF and the National budgetary allocation in Kenya
• Ensure that government procurement of goods and services adheres to environmentally friendly standards and alleviate the carbon footprints
• Ensure that anyone who contributes to environmental degradation would never be considered to stand for any government post or constitutional offices.

To the developed countries:
• We are concerned about the manipulation gimmicks that you are engaging in the ongoing climate negotiations. We remind you that our people are suffering, many to the point of death, while you remain indecisive and even indifferent to the plight of the poor and the vulnerable.

• The lowering of ambitions of COP 15 by the some of the Annex 1 countries is unacceptable – we still demand for a legally binding agreement that will ensure emission cuts and adequate finances for developing countries for adaptation, mitigation, technology transfer and capacity building;

• We recognise the positive move of some of the developed countries, such as Norway, that has promised 40% emission reduction below the 1990 levels, but still view this as inadequate and demand for more on other aspects of addressing climate change;

• We demand urgent action from the US and EU to show leadership by making concrete commitments to reduce their emissions to the scientifically recommended levels, as stipulated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); that all proposed emissions reductions should be quantifiable measurable and verifiable.

• We do demand concrete commitments to provide funding for adaptation to the developing world and especially Africa and that all financing agreements as will be decided will be additional to ODA.

Finally, we express our support to the Africa Group of negotiators and the endeavour to take One Africa, One Voice, One Position, to Copenhagen.

We the Kenyan youth commit ourselves to:

• Support the billion tree campaign
• Participate and support the environment policy that is in draft form and support the transmission of the draft into policy.
• Commit ourselves to mobilize youth through peaceful demonstrations, campaigns, environmental movements at the community and national level and become change agents through our lifestyles to save our earth.
• We further commit to continue educating Kenyans from grassroots levels to policy makers, on the dire need of engaging in a low carbon economy for sustainable development.
• We shall proactively engage the youth, communities, schools and religious organizations in environmental projects that teach them why there is need to conserve our environment bringing mother nature back to her former glory.
• We do commit to ensure that anyone who supports environmental degradation will not see the votes of the youth, our leaders take note of this.
• Recognising the role played by the youth in the industrial sector both formal and informal, We commit ourselves to participate in technology needs assessment, dissemination of technology, information sharing, creating enabling environments for technology transfer, capacity building on green technology, and developing mechanisms for technology transfer. We further commit ourselves to participate in green technology innovations and green jobs.


Adopted by the Youth of Kenya on the 14th of November 2009.

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