University of Nairobi together with other stake holders celebrated the Paris agreement on climate change that came into effect in 2015 after 177 state parties ratified the agreement.
The purpose of the event was to mobilize students, researchers and communities to put in more effort to deal with the diverse effects of climate change. The focus being: water, food security and financing.
University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi noted that climate change have social, medical impact and hence the need for all stakeholders to be involved. Prof. Mbithi, who was represented by Prof. Enos Njeru, Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, noted that the University plays an important role in education, training, creating environmental awareness and environmental champions. The University of Nairobi established Wangari Maathai Institute, WMI, Institute of Climate Change and Adaptation and CASELAP to handle environmental and climate change issues.
Adverse effects of climate change include: highland malaria, reduce food production, human and wildlife conflict, deforestation and human migration.
It was suggested that to reach the masses, proper channels of communication should be used. Such channels include radio and television. It was also suggested that environmental studies should be a common unit at the undergraduate level in the university.
Other measures of dealing with climate change that were suggested include: action oriented research on climate change, data generation and analysis, development of mobile apps that will solve climate change related challenges, development of green buildings, development of policy and legal frameworks, floating of green bonds at the Nairobi Stocks exchange to solve financing issues. Other initiatives that were suggested include: student tree planting campaigns, cleaning and adopting river ecosystems and proper waste management.
Among other partners who were present at the event include: National Environmental Authority, (NEMA), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Technical University of Kenya (TUK), Ministry of Environment and United Nations Environmental Program, UNEP.