Genetic Resources to Fight Climate Change

With Kenya's meteorological records over the last 50 years indicating increased irregularity and variability in precipitation, the effects of changing climate are hitting hard. Rising temperatures as well other forms of extreme weather events in form of droughts and floods are a common feature.

Keen to employ multipronged mitigation initiatives, Kenya is now focusing on exploiting genetic resources for solutions to combat climate change.

As a result, the country has launched the first ever national strategy on genetic resources within the context of climate change for the 2016-2020 period. The strategy, which was launched earlier in Nairobi, outlines constraints and opportunities and suggests mitigation and adaptation strategies against climate change impacts.

Willy Bett, cabinet secretary, ministry of agriculture, livestock and fisheries, said during the launch of the strategy that Kenya has a rich diversity of genetic resources that can be exploited for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Bett said plants, animals, insects, aquatic and microbial organisms found in terrestrial, aquatic and below ground habitats and ecosystems as some of the country's diverse genetic resources. "The resources constitute a rich national heritage that needs to be conserved and harnessed to sustain human livelihoods in terms of food, shelter and medicines," he pointed out.

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