Varsity engaged in blue urban agenda for coastal cities in Kenya project
The University of Nairobi – Maritime Centre in collaboration with Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) will carry out a project that will contribute to the realization of the blue urban agenda for coastal cities in Kenya.
Dubbed ‘Realizing a Blue Urban Agenda for Coastal Cities in Kenya Through Sustainable Production and Consumption Policy and Governance’ the project will advance the agenda for sustainable urbanization as a driver of development and global peace to improve living conditions for all. WIOMSA has provided the research grant to finance the project.
At the project inception meeting held on October 12, 20201 in Nyali, Vice-chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama highlighted the significance of the initiative on Kenya’s coastal cities and urban areas, terming it as revolutionary.
“Kenya’s coastal cities and urban areas, like many others around Africa and elsewhere, are under pressure on the consumption and production front. It is important that our coastal cities and urban areas reduce natural resource consumption and waste production footprints, and improve land-use efficiencies so that negative environmental impacts are minimized,” he said. “Therefore, an urban agenda tailored for Kenya’s coastal cities and urban areas is necessary. This research project terms it as the Blue Urban Agenda-aimed at reducing vulnerability and enhancing sustainability in our coastal cities and urban areas.”
The Blue Urban Agenda will focus on addressing three unsustainable consumption and production patterns that affect ocean sustainability. These are; the unsustainable management and inefficient use of natural resources, unsustainable management of chemical and other wastes, and food wastage and food losses as reflected in Goal 12 of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Thus, this research project builds on knowledge pertaining to transitions in consumption and production patterns for sustainable cities with a focus on policy and governance. This is borne of the fact that often Government speaks through policy, legislation and other regulatory frameworks.
The purpose of the consultative inception meeting was to introduce the project to stakeholders, report on progress in the implementation of the project and seek stakeholder support and commitments including from, inter alia, relevant government departments and agencies, non –state actors including civil society and the private sector.
In attendance were top officials from the University of Nairobi led by the Vice- chancellor, Prof. Kiama, National State Agencies including Kenya Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Fisheries Service, county governments of Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi, and the Civil Society.