By CONRAD ONYANGO
Sustained poor management of natural resources in the country has been blamed for lack of regular and reliable communication channels.
Consequently, relegation of Environment to low priority in public investment and policy formulation continue to threaten livelihoods and the national economy, the ministry of Environment,Water and Natural resources said yesterday.
Cabinet Secretary in the ministry, prof. Judy Wakhungu said Environment and development nexus has over time become more complicated as economic growth continue to depend on exploitation of the natural capita.
Low awareness levels exhibited by poor communities living in areas rich in natural resources, she singled out as a threat to lots of biodiversity hotspots and a road to low productivity by ecosystems in the country.
Speaking at an EcoForum event in Nairobi, she acknowledged very little information is disseminated to the public despite tremendous research by environmental experts.
“We need to ask ourselves how effective have results been communicated to influence policy and actions of government and citizens,” said Wakhungu.
The ministry affirmed its commitment to environmental conservation and asserted it will widen engagement with private sector stakeholders to continuously improve environmental policy for free flow of information.
“It is therefore upon the media, as well as investors in information to disseminate a clear flow of information to accelerate our good intention on laws and regulations affecting communication. This commitment is demonstrated by goodwill of engaging in improved dialogue of the Media Bill,”She said.
The forum also saw the launch of a local journal, published by Environment Liaison Center International (ELCI) to strengthen civil society participation in global negotiations on environment and sustainable development.
“We aim at increasing security of livelihoods by reversing negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems by empowering citizens with the right information. Similarly we ant to influence decision making at high levels of governance in favour of environmental sustainability,” said ELCI Acting Director, Kennedy Orwa.
The organisation bringing together more than 300 civil society groups intends to launch an online platform for the publication early next year to push their agenda.