The KEPSA Environment, Water and Natural Resources Sector Board met on 12th March 2020 at KEPSA offices to review the year 2019 progress and to forge a strategic direction for the year 2020. The Chairperson, Mrs. Emily Waita welcomed members to the meeting and went ahead to give some of the key achievements of the Sector Board in the year 2019 as follows:
The sector board made a significant contribution to critical frameworks for the realization of a circular economy, in particular, the Sustainable Waste Management Policy and bill by entrenching the extended producer responsibility chapter in the bill. The policy and bill had been finalized by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and submitted to the Cabinet.
The development of the Nairobi Solid Waste Management Action Plan with the input from the private sector was ongoing with the first draft developed by the Multi-agency team comprising of office of the President, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, County Government and Private Sector. The action plan once finalized would be reviewed by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry and be submitted to the Head of Public Service by the Multi-agency team.
The Kenya Plastics Action Plan was launched on 2nd December 2019. This a process that had been led by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and KEPSA was a member of the steering committee. the launch of the action plan marked a milestone and was the beginning of a new phase for the private sector in Kenya. As an industry, the private sector committed to taking extended producer responsibility for the products that they produce. This entails designing environmentally friendly products and proper management of post-consumer products.
As per the August 2019 Ministerial Stakeholder Forum (MSF) resolution between the KEPSA and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and which also was a recommendation of the Kenya Plastics Action Plan, the process of drafting the Extending Producer Responsibility Regulations had begun with a first meeting having taken place in Kisumu from 2nd to 7th December 2019. The KEPSA Environment, Water and Natural Resources sector board prepared an Extended Producer Responsibility position paper in the year 2017 and their input was being considered in the drafting of the regulations. It was hoped that the regulations would be ready by June 2020. Once a finer draft of the regulations is ready, the regulations would be shared with sector members and KEPSA leadership for their input.
Other key policy frameworks that the sector board members participated in include: – development of Guidelines for Health and HIV Impact Assessment on Infrastructure Projects, membership to the Multi-institutional Working Committee the national strategy on 10% tree cover implementation and finalization of the Climate Change Budget Coding and Tracking Training Manual and training of the first cohort of government and private sector planners and economists. During the preceding year, the sector board members also participated in the Stakeholder Validation of the Kenya Tourism Board Strategic Plan and the launch of the Water Resources’ Authority Strategic Plan.
In looking ahead for the year 2020, the sustainability agenda is taking centre stage in shaping the environmental, discourse in development and economic growth hence sector board members identified some of the critical areas to further strategize for in the year 2020 including unpacking climate change and private sector, operationalization of the national climate change council, green and circular economy, protection of natural resources and ecosystems’ including rivers, promoting environmental compliance among others. The Sector Board will retreat to develop a strategic road map for the private sector and sustainability, environmental protection and ecosystems balance for the year 2020 – 2022.