Kenya has made major commitments aimed at achieving sustainable tourism by 2030.
Among the commitments made include a move to restrict the use of vehicular transportation within all the National Parks and reserves to those that use non-fossil renewable energy fueling by 2030.
“It is amply clear to all of humanity the threats to our very survival as a species on this planet are at stake like never before,” Tourism CS Najib Balala said.
Empirical evidence of this crisis was once again presented to all the 140 Heads of state, senior government representatives, persons of global influence, and other dignitaries in attendance at the ongoing Conference of Parties to the UNFCC in Glasgow, UK.
Kenya seeks to join the world in achieving zero carbon emission by 2030 and converting one hundred percent of energy needs to renewable green energy such as hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar power.
Balala said all hospitality and tourism facilities in Kenya are required to adopt renewable energy and a circular economy in their operations by 2030.
The CS pledged to mobilize the ecological assets in the vast protected areas that act as carbon sinks to maximize on global carbon credit facilities available in order to raise additional resources to play an active role in meeting the national goal of a net carbon-neutral nation.
He said degraded areas in National Parks and Reserves are set to be restored in a concerted effort on reforestation.
Balala also pledged to increase our marine conservation areas network.
He also said the government will establish frameworks for documentation and measuring the economic impacts of climate change on the tourism and wildlife sector in Kenya as a basis to mainstreaming practical, quantifiable, and accountable required measures on climate actions by actors in the entire value chain.
Balala committed to developing and enforcing minimum sustainability standards that are in line with global benchmarks for businesses in the sector that form the basis for operations of sustainable tourism businesses with accompanying incentives and disincentives.
“Kenya is already on the path of restricting the use of single-use plastic within conservation areas which shall be enforced strongly.”
Kenya is a founding member of the newly launched Sustainable Tourism Global Centre and will use its position to provide leadership globally and in Africa to ensure micro, small and medium tourism enterprises are supported to adopt these measures for the benefit of their businesses.
The country like most developing countries faces the most severe threats arising from changes in climatic conditions and weather patterns caused by carbon emissions globally.
Balala said it is imperative that as we demand more action against emissions as well as resources to mitigate the threats to our economy and the livelihoods of our people.
He said we must likewise play our part in reducing our own footprint in any way possible.