On 6th December 2021, KEPSA Environment, Water and Natural Resources Sector Board held a Ministerial Stakeholders Forum (MSF) chaired by the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry Mr. Keriako Tobiko and Co-Chaired by the Chair of the Sector Board Ms. Emily Waita. The agenda of the meeting was to discuss progress of 10-point resolutions made in the last MSF in key strategic thematic areas of climate change, circular economy for sustainable waste management, forest cover and carbon trading system as well as environmental laws and regulations.
In her opening remarks, Ms. Waita applauded the close collaboration between the ministry and the private sector. “Since our last MSF we have had the most collaborative partnership in advancing the 10-point resolutions that we made and committed to, for the realization of a conducive business environment and progressing of sustainable natural resource use in the country. Public private partnership is indeed a demonstration that shared value can make us go far when we align our vision and mission,” She said. She noted that good progress had been achieved in Tree Planting, Green Growth and Employment Program, Sustainable Waste Management Policy and Bill, Extended Producer Responsibility Regulations, National REDD+ strategy, national forest policy review laws and the tree growing campaign.
During this period under review, private sector also worked closely in developing policy instruments for the acceleration of businesses towards a Green Growth and adoption of Circular business models. The other instruments key for transition is the green public procurement framework. This is timely as the guides come at a critical moment when businesses are re-thinking their models after the disruptions brought about by Covid-19 and gives an opportunity to build back better and recover while fully embracing the tenets of sustainability and green growth.
The Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Tobiko, commended the close working relationship forged between the private sector and the government and more so in the change of perception that environmental sustainability does not imply loss of profit margins. Over the period, the environment vs economic growth and profitability had found alignment that environmental sustainability is not a corporate social responsibility function and that it makes good business sense to pursue business growth while promoting sustainability. Sustainability makes good business case for all. He went ahead to challenge the private sector to continue exercising their corporate citizenship duties and responsibilities. “As partners we can work together towards tackling the climate crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation, pollution for an accelerated green growth in the context of green recovery,” He remarked.
During the meeting, the private sector presented the 2022-2030 Private Sector Strategy on Climate Change and the Corporate Commitment on Climate Change Charter (4CK). The ministry commended the private sector for developing the strategy that would help unlock opportunities for investment and active contribution towards the national and global targets on climate change.
The meeting reviewed progress of the 10-point resolutions made in the last MSF as follows:
- Double charging of effluent discharge fees is yet to be resolved.
- There are a number of regulations under drafting at the Attorney General Office-this include the E-Waste Regulations, Deposit Bond Regulations, waste tyre regulations, plastic control regulations among others.
- The National Climate Change Action Plan 2018-2022 had been approved by the President as the Chair of the Council. The second progress report of the NCCAP had undergone public validation on 30th November 2021 with private sector input.
- The review of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act was ongoing. Private Sector urged to fast track their submission to the review process.
- Ministry with collaboration with private sector represented by KEPSA and KAM had developed of private sector engagement framework in order to enhance private sector participation in implementing and reporting on climate change. This framework to be implemented through the Climate Business Information Network.
- Under circular approach for sustainable waste management, KEPSA proposals had been adopted in the bill key among them to include a section on: Extended Producer Responsibility, Material Recovery Facilities, Waste Service Providers and Role of Citizen in Segregation of Waste at Source.
- Under national greening initiative, a multi-Stakeholder team established that included private sector to develop the National Strategy for achieving 10% tree cover by 2022. In addition, Two Private Sector Round Tables had been Organized on 2 billion Tree campaign by the Ministry with support of NETFUND. A total of 67,000,000 million seedlings and in-kind contribution of 45 million committed by private sector towards the 2 billion tree campaign.
- Mandatory Extended producer responsibility: A technical team comprising of ministry and private sector had been formed that supported in the development of the EPR regulations that establishes mandatory compliance EPR Schemes. Private sector also supported organization of seven sector consultation forums for products covered under the EPR. The EPR regulations are being undergoing legal drafting at the Attorney General office.
- Moratorium on logging activities had been reviewed with limited exemption of 5000 hectares and controlled harvesting of trees was ongoing.
- On regular engagement between the ministry and the private sector: KEPSA had been represented in all major technical working teams established by the Ministry to deal with Environmental issues e.g. development of SWM Policy and Bill, EPR regulations, Green Growth and Employment Project Implementation Committee, Scoping of REDD+ in the country, Tree planting events and workshop to develop private sector engagement framework on NCCAP.
The meeting was attended by heads of the Ministry Departments and Agencies, Technical Officers, KEPSA Members and Development Partners represented by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Danish Embassy.