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Kenyan conservationists expect to work with China on green agenda

By —Xinhua | May 5th 2014


Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is on a four-nation tour of Africa.

  Kenyan environmentalists are expecting the country to further its co-operation with China in promoting the development of an environment-friendly economy when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives for a visit later this week.

“Kenya and China share identical green goals to create jobs, expand prosperity and buffer communities from devastations of a warming planet,” Nairobi-based Green Africa Foundation Chief Executive Officer Isaac Kalua told Xinhua.

Local conservationists who spoke to Xinhua hailed China’s support towards greening Kenya’s economy.

A cross section of Kenyan green advocates were also unanimous that Premier Li’s visit to the country heralds a fresh beginning in the spheres of environment, economy and sustainability.

According to Kalua, Kenya has learnt great lessons from China in the adoption of low cost and indigenous technologies to power green growth.

 “The largest manufacturer of solar panels is based in China. Developing countries like Kenya can now purchase solar panels at affordable cost. This is good for our economy and livelihoods,” Kalua said.

 The Kenyan government in its revised energy policy aims to harness wind, solar and geothermal to promote clean industrial growth.

Kalua, who is also the chairman of Kenya Water Towers Agency, emphasised that water and energy security underpins sustainable development in the East African state.

 “We have an ambitious blue print to accelerate a transition to low carbon economy. The country requires massive financing and soft technologies to achieve this goal,” he said.

 The co-ordinator of the Nairobi-based Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance, Mithika Mwenda, noted that China is a global leader in promoting ecological civilisation.

 “I am aware that top Chinese leaders have pledged support towards ecological civilisation that would benefit the country and the world. This ideal is embedded in Confucius values and traditions,” Mwenda told Xinhua.

He stressed that Kenya should cement ties with China in the areas of technology transfer and cultural and educational exchanges to promote green growth.

 Both Kenya and China have felt the impacts of climate change and could share vital lessons on mitigation and adaptation strategies.

 Mithika noted that China has invested massively in renewable energy, reforestation and cleaning of rivers to reverse environmental degradation triggered by rapid industrialisation.

 “An industrialising China has grappled with a fair share of environmental pollution yet turned this tragedy into an opportunity. This is evidenced by government’s ambitious programmes to clear smog, expand tree cover and clean water bodies,” Mwenda said.

He noted that Kenya must be prepared to deal with negative impacts of urbanisation.               —Xinhua


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