United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Kenya

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kenya to the United Nations
866 U.N. Plaza, Rm 304, New York, NY 10017
· . ABRIDGED STATEMENT
BY
PROFe JUDI -w'AN6ALW'A w'AKHUN6U, £6H
CABINET SECRETARY MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOUCES
OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA
DURING
THE
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION
OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14
JUNE 7, 2017
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, NEW YORK
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Tel: (212) 421-4740/1, Fax: (212) 486-1985 Email: info@kenyaun.org
STATEMENT BY PROF. JUDI WAKHUNGU CABINET
SECRETARY MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL
RESOURCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE
OCEAN CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT IMPLEMENTATION OF
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL (SDG) 14 JUNE 5-9
2017-NEW YORK.
President of the Conference
Secretary General of the United Nations
President of the General Assembly
Excellences
Distinguished pa rtici pants
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I thank the Governments of Fiji and Sweden for co-hosting
of this Conference.
It gives me great pleasure to join this important Conference to
implement the Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Conserve
and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for
sustainable development.
In 2015, the international community adopted the Sustainable
Development Goals, including a goal on Oceans (SDG 14). The
intergovernmental process that put in place the Sustainable
Development Goals noted the central role of Oceans and Seas in
safeguarding the planet and the wellbeing of its people. A standalone
SDG 14 remains a clear demonstration of the importance of
this subject to sustainable development.
We all recognize the fact that SDGl 4 needs to be ambitious
because the health of our Oceans is vital for sustainable
development. This ambition needs to be followed by urgent
action as reflected in the five SDGl 4 targets, which are to be met
by either 2020 or 2025.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kenya is one of the many Western
Indian Ocean (WIO) states. The region is world-renowned for its
vast range of beautiful habitats, spectacular biodiversity and rich
natural resources. Kenya's coastline has a total length of 1,420
km with coral reefs running for more than 480 kilometers. The
reefs are a home to our marine national parks and reserves
The coral reefs of the Indian Ocean are under severe pressure
from climate change and a number of human activities that have
degraded their condition. Consequently, there is a decline in the
availability of fish and other resources throughout the Indian
Ocean. This calls for urgent and ambitious action from all parties.
In this regard, the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) governments
signed the Nairobi Convention and its protocols as the framework
for collaboration in the management of our oceans to sustain
cultural and economic opportunities provided by our marine
resources in the region .
. We believe that the implementation of . SDG14 targets will
enhance the work under the Nairobi Convention. However, our
success in developing a Blue Economy is equally dependent on
effective management of the coastal and marine environment at
national level of which Kenya has made some progress.
Ladies and gentlemen, Plastics consistently represent the major
categories of marine debris by material type on a global basis. To
prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all
kinds, particularly from land-based activities, including
marine debris and nutrient pollution by 2025, First, the
government of Kenya, on the 28th of February 2017, imposed a
ban on plastics. The objective of the ban is partly to reduce the
impact of plastics in our water ways and other objects that
contribute to Marine debris. We call upon our WIO states to join
us in banning the use of plastics to save our Ocean.
Second, we are in the process of developing a new standalone
solid waste management act, to strengthen our Solid waste
management regulations. Furthermore, The National Environment
Management Authority (NEMA) through the revised EIA and
Environmental Audit Regulations of 2003, has listed mandatory
. projects that must under-go an EIA, which include activities that
have an impact on Oceans.
Third, The port is an important regional hub to its landlocked
neighboring countries. To respond to and address the potential
risk of oil pollution, Kenya developed a National Oil Spi II
Contingency Plan (2007).
Fourth, as a signatory to the International Maritime Organization
IMO's MARPOL Convention, we intend to explore cost effective
options to address pollution from Marine Vessels. We intend to
review our Merchants Shipping Act (2009) to domesticate and
implement the requirements of the MARPOL Convention.
Fifth, we are also proud to announce that one of our universities
"Joma Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology" won an
international competitive bid to host the regional Maritime
Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Africa. The
centers will constitute the Global MTCC Network (GMN) and will
further IMO's efforts towards effective implementation and
enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations related to
international shipping. It will work in close collaboration with our
Kenya Ports Authority to ensure control of water and air pollution
at the port.
Ladies and gentlemen, to sustainably manage and protect
marine and coastal ecosystems by 2020, the government of
Kenya has developed and put in place an Integrated Coastal Zone
Management (ICZM) Policy and ICZM Action Plan 2015;
established four Marine National Parks, Reserves and RAMSAR
sites; developed strategies for conservation of critical marine and
coastal ecosystems; put in place an Oil Spill Contingency Plan and
a Sensitivity Atlas, to protect critical habitats in the event of an oil
spill, and; proclaimed an Exclusive Econ~mic Zone (EEZ) as per
the provisions of UNCLOS . and the Kenya Maritime Zones Act
(1989).
To minimize and address the impacts of ocean
acidification, including through enhanced scientific
cooperation at all levels, we are proud to announce that
Kenya was among the first Countries in the world to pass a
Climate Change Act in May 2016 and also ratified the Paris
Agreement on the 28th of December 2016.
To effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, by .
2020, the Kenyan government created the State Department
for Fisheries and the Blue Economy in 2016. The objective
was to strengthen the Blue Economy Platform for sustainable
development of blue spaces.
Kenya is also in the process of ratifying The FAO Agreement on
Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal,
Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Agreement of 2009 and is in
the process of implementing its requirements.
To conserve at least 10 percent of coastal and marine
areas, consistent with national and international law
based on best available scientific information by 2020, we
are proud to announce that our current area of marine protection
· is at 6% and intend to establish more. Kenya is also member of
the steering committee of the 10X20 initiative which advocates
for the voluntary establishment of Marine Protected Areas
(MPAs). We have made significant progress in providing access
for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.
Finally ladies and gentlemen, to enhance the conservation
and sustainable use of Oceans and their resources under SGD
14c, Kenya is making progress in implementing the provisions of
the UNCLOS, recalling paragraph 158 of "The Future We Want".
These efforts are in addition to implementing all international
agreements that are directly or indirectly related to SDG 14 and
Oceans such as the International Maritime Organization IMO's
MARPOL (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution
from Ships); Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish
Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on
Biological Diversity and others. In this context my delegation joins
others to stress the importance of appointing a Special
Representative of the Secretary General for Oceans to help
galvanize efforts to support the implementation of this goal.
In conclusion, we welcome the provision in the outcome
document which lays the basis for future follow up on SDG 14.
This complements resolutions 70/226 and 70/303 on the
possibility of holding future Conferences. My delegation has
already expressed interest to host the next Conference and looks
forward to your support in this regard. I strongly believe that
there is a real momentum for change that should not slow down .
. I wish you a successful and fruitful 2017 Ocean Conference.
I thank you.
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