The Government of Japan has extended to Kenya earlier today KSh 1.4 billion to support in sustainable forest management programmes and improvement of capabilities to cope with natural disasters notably from climate change. Dubbed the Forest Preservation Programme (FPP), the project will focus on Mau Forest protection and conservation, Dryland afforestation, survey and communication’s capacity building at the Headquarters, Kenya Forestry College and other forest zones across the country.
The Ambassador of Japan to Kenya His Excellency Shigeo Iwatani said the grant was aimed at assisting Kenya mitigate, and adapt to the effects of climate change efficiently and effectively. He said it is his hope that the money will be utilized prudently and further accelerate Kenya’s economic growth.
The grant money is expected to be disbursed during the course of March 2010, with the forestry sector receiving KSh. 963,800,000 while KSh. 438,800,000 will go to Special Programmes initiatives in drought mitigation through purchase of equipment that to assist in emergency operations.
The forest sector grant will be implemented chiefly the Kenya Forest Service, with KEFRI and the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya.
“More than ever before, forest conservation and disaster management will be two of the most important agenda items to bridge the gap of awareness between developing and developed countries on climate change issues,” Amb. Shigeo noted.
He added that Japan’s status as one of the main players in the establishment of the Kyoto Protocol, means that it has the duty to address the establishment of the new framework of climate change.
He said his government is considering how to contribute to Kenya’s efforts towards mitigation of, or adaptation to the effects of climate change.
“In the near future, the Government of Japan will be able to pledge further contributions as a clear sign of its firm determination to address the climate change issue – an issue that is most critical the world over,” the Japanese Ambassador assured.
The signing of the agreement for the Government of Kenya was witnessed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa, and Minister of Special Programs Hon. Dr. Naomi Shaban.
Kenya Forest Service, the leading institution in implementing the grant was represented by the Director, Mr. D.K. Mbugua.
Filed by Mr. C. Ngunjiri