Innovation to provide clean and efficient energy alternatives

The pressure on the forests has led to forest degradation which not only reduces its ability to provide the essential ecological services but also negatively affect livelihoods of millions of forest dependent communities.

The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment and Forests (CS), Keriako Tobiko noted one of the greatest threats was attributed to overexploitation of forests for charcoal production and firewood harvesting.

The use of innovation to provide clean and efficient energy alternatives will help to reverse this trend as well as reduce indoor pollution, he said in a speech read on his behalf by Environment, Education and Awareness Director, Dr. Ayub Macharia during the 2nd Quadra Helix Summit at the innovation week being held at the University of Nairobi (UoN).

Tobiko said innovation would help augment government efforts to stop wanton destruction of our forests.

He noted that the recent ban on logging in the country’s forests and setting up of a task force to look into the issue and develop practical solutions to the problem was a step in the right direction.

The CS said Kenya, like many African countries, remained highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and has come face to face with socio-economic losses.

The manifestations of climate change constitute a serious threat to human existence but also has the potential to reverse the modest gains that we have achieved towards attaining the Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals, he said.

Climate change, he explained, was one of the key current and future challenges in the world and with a growing world population, rising demand for food, water and energy and a dwindling natural resource base, climate change would act as a ‘threat multiplier, aggravating resource scarcity and putting further stress on socio-ecological systems’.

The CS said the use of Quadra Helix partnership approach which provides a platform to engage and share best practices on how we can accelerate the attainment of Vision 2030 and the SDGs in using ICT and data is encouraged and was in tandem with the Climate Change Act.

In section 21, the Act calls for integration of climate change into the national education curriculum at all levels and in section 24, it advocates for public participation in climate change decision making and policy development processes, he said.

Tobiko said the Ministry intended to engage the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in mainstreaming climate change into the education curriculum.

He added that they were engaged with the Kenya School of Government in development and implementation of climate change training curriculum with the goal of building capacity on climate change issues in the country.

The summit’s mission is to contribute towards a vibrant, productive and sustainable national innovation ecosystem through policy influence, show casing innovation, research dissemination, networking, capacity building, and investment and support opportunities.

The theme of this year’s Quadra Helix Summit is ‘Innovation 4SDGs’ which resonates well with the government aspirations of unlocking the country’s development potential and employment through innovation.

The one week Summit will promote innovations in clean efficient energy and stimulate smart, scalable and sustainable program designs in a Quadra Helix approach.

Source: Kenya News Agency