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Kenya roots for big data to enhance response to climate change

29 July 2016, 16:15

Nairobi (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan Ministry of Environment will invest in big data to strengthen response to climate change in vulnerable sectors like agriculture, energy, forestry and tourism, officials said on Thursday.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Judi Wakhungu, said upgrading of data collection infrastructure will boost implementation of targeted interventions on limiting green house gas emissions.

"The government is committed to enhanced data collection to inform policy and funding interventions geared towards minimizing impacts of climate change on livelihoods and natural habitats," Wakhungu said.

She was speaking in Nairobi during the launch of the second national communication report to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The report highlights measures Kenya has taken to accelerate low carbon development in line with global instruments. It roots for research and enhanced data collection to inform execution of climate mitigation and adaptation projects.

The ministry has developed a green house gas inventory covering diverse sectors of the economy like manufacturing, agriculture, forestry and transport.

Wakhungu said the inventory identified Kenya as a low carbon emitter though it remained vulnerable to devastating impacts of climate change that include droughts, floods and surge in epidemics.

"It is imperative that we mobilize and leverage various resources to enhance climate resilience to various sectors of the economy. Strengthened institutional and human resources are needed to improve capacity to respond to climate change," said Wakhungu.

Kenya has focused on data driven measures to help communities adapt to climate change through reforestation, adoption of cleaner energy and improved water management.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Charles Sunkuli, said the government had devoted additional resources to address technical and human resource gaps that undermine collection and dissemination of climate data.

"Our priority now is to enhance technology transfer, research and capacity building to ensure our climate response strategies are data driven," Sunkuli said.

- Xinhua


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