- by Unelker (Kenya)
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After arriving in Nairobi, the entire YCL team attended a Welcome Seminar hosted by Strathomore University, Kenya Climate Innovation Centre, University of Nairobi, Columbia Global Center (Nairobi), 350.org Kenya and We Sustain.
Dr. Edward Mungai presented the keynote speech by describing how innovation might be the only feasible solution that our generation has to catch up and adapt to the effects of a changing climate. Young people need to ideate and work towards new solutions and technologies to address climate change, and We Sustain was created to help us with that.
Dr. C. Olude, together with Dr. C. Lukoba, from the University of Nairobi guided the audience through the realities of a changing climate in Kenya with Dr. Lukoba stating that: “Climate change continues to play a vital role is the fast diminishing biodiversity in Africa with over 50% of large mammals such as Lions and Rhinos being affected heavily in the past decade.” Ivy Ng’riu, a graduate student in Conservation Biology who is studying the effects of frog distribution in central Kenya, expressed that although climate will affect frog populations, it is important that all disciplines play their role in protecting the environment.
350 Kenya – a climate advocacy group – highlighted more sustainable energy investment options, such as biofuels which are better alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources, e.g. coal, which has fast became an investment option despite the untapped renewable energy potential that Africa natural resources have to offer.
Aside from the Kenya Forest Service, other organizations represented in the event were the Africa Youth Initiative on Climate Change; a youth network that is fighting for a sustainable climate, and the Chiromo Environmental Awareness Club. It was a great way to kickoff YCL’s activities in Kenya and strength participant’s ties with the local community.
We are honored for receiving such a warm welcome, and looking forward to a month of much work, inspiration and fun!