Involve local communities in wealth creation projects – CS Tobiko urges nations

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko has urged nations in the western Indian Ocean region to involve local communities when initiating marine resources wealth creating programs.

He observed that the region was endowed with massive coastal and marine resources and that any projects designed to tap wealth should be well publicised among the beneficiaries to enable them own and benefit from such investments.

The CS noted that it was imperative for countries in the region to make concerted efforts to link science and policy of sustainable use of the coastal and marine resources that had the potential to create wealth for their communities.

Tobiko was speakingSaturday when he closed a two day conference of parties to the Nairobi convention at a Mombasa hotel. The conference’s theme was sustainable ocean economy for wealth creation.

During the conference that was attended by ten countries from the western Indian Ocean region,Tobiko was elected as chairman of the convention for the next two years taking over from Mr.Wallace Cosgrow of Sychelles.

Other member countries attending the conference that attracted over 200 delegates were Comoros, Mauritius, Mozambique, Madagascar, Seychelles, South Africa, Somalia and France la Reunion.

The CS urged member states to submit requests for projects funding from the Global Environment Facility that supports national sustainable development initiatives.

The United Nations’ based facility grants projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, and land degradation among others.

Tobiko told member states that owing to funding constraints, it would be in the interest of their communities to complete the already initiated projects before new ones were started.

The CS later led the delegates to visit Halla Park, a demonstration area of how best to implement biodiversity conservation for sustainable land use.

Source: Kenya News Agency