Sustainability and Human rights hand in hand in Kenya

Posted: March 17, 2013 in All Posts, Kenya

By: Konstantsa Karaleeva

Edited by : Natalie BushImage

The environment in Kenya has become a big concern in the past few years. The overall welfare of the environment is a very important  to Kenya as it is a main source for the country. 75% of the working force in the country is involved in agriculture. Kenya is also a well known destination for tourism and safaris. Tourism boosts the economy and the income of the citizens in Kenya. Due to this, if the nature of Kenya is spoiled, Kenyan economy and development will severely suffer.

Many different organizations work for the sustainability in Kenya, one of them is the Institute for Law and Environment Governess (ILEG). ILEG is a non-profit civil society organization working in the field of environmental governance in Kenya. Their projects are mainly focused in two specific fields of natural resources and global warming. The global warming is increasingly harming to Kenya. Global warming in Kenya causes a lack of clean water, a loss of livestock and wildlife and more. Both wildlife and livestock are important resources for Kenya’s economy. A big percentage of the country’s income comes from activities related with agriculture. This is why natural resources and lands will play a critical role in Kenya’s socio-economical development. There are not any laws for ownership of lands or any legislation. This gap in the law causes a lot of problems. ILEG advocates for more legislations and laws in the field of natural resources. Having specific laws regarding environmental issues will make it much easier for Kenyans to maintain their natural resources working for them.

ILEG  also works in the field of technology and environment, environmental damage, and social justice. Environmental issues and human rights are closely linked.

Violations of fundamental human rights like:

  1. Denial of access to environmental investments,
  2. Failure to ensure equitable benefit sharing, denial of access to information,
  3. Denial of opportunities for participation in decision making,
  4. Denial of justice in environment-related matters

Local communities, minority ethnic groups, poor people, uneducated children and women are involved in environmental issues through educational panels. There are several different projects that directly work with them and help them to become more aware and involved in the sustainability issues in their areas. ILEG’s work is focused on giving the civil rights of people involved and to have active participation in environmental issues.

This is very good practical example of how environment issues and human rights are connected and they go hand in hand. The interaction between human rights and environmental problems is important.

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  1. chaitasinaik says:

    I really liked the fact that you very directed stated how global warming is affecting Kenya and how it was continue to affect the country in the future. I also really liked how you highlighted a non-profit organization that is directly working to improve sustainability. However, I’m really curious as to what the government itself is doing to help improve sustainability, if at all. And, I’m curious to know how Kenyans are making agriculture more sustainable. Though it is not a large part of the culprit, there is significant pollution that comes from agriculture in the form of pesticide pollution. Overall, I really liked the post!


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