At the maiden Earthwise Summit hosted by the Nation Media Group (NMG) on Friday, November 17, a powerful message emerges — one of transformative action, re-imagination and an unwavering commitment to seeking solutions to climate change.
The convening of the event is timely and a response to the escalating vulnerability to climate change such as ravaging drought cycles, flooding, soaring temperatures and the surge in animal to humans’ infections among other unpredictable manifestations of climate change.
Held under the theme, “Bridging generations for sustainable change,” the summit brought together representatives from different sectors and cultural backgrounds, including indigenous communities to engage in the shaping of a sustainable future.
The one-day event delved into themes of agriculture, climate policies and community engagements, energy transition and the place of youth in steering the course towards a resilient future.
In his welcome address at the summit held at Nairobi National Park, NMG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Stephen Gitagama, shared a narrative of losses—a story that resonates with many quarters.
“If you tell me to tell you about climate change, I am a farmer. I plant maize and beans. In the past two years, I have had to plant and replant. That is what climate change is for you,” he reflected.
Mr Gitagama affirmed NMG’s unwavering commitment and proactive stance in spearheading climate change actions.
“We acknowledge the impacts that our operations have on the environment. Our approach to environmental management involves diligently identifying and controlling potential carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change,” he said.
“We are actively implementing strategies to embark on a low carbon trajectory, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality across our operations by 2030. Each year, we do a decarbonisation plan and that target is a key priority,” he said.
While lauding the government’s step to set aside a day for tree planting, Mr Gitagama called for institutionalising tree planting, “so that it is embedded in our culture,” he said.
Emphasising on the group’s unwavering commitment to journalistic excellence, NMG’s Editor-in-chief Joe Ageyo stated that nation journalists will continue to communicate the complexities of climate change accurately.
“Climate change is not just a mere headline…It is a delicate dance and as journalists, we are the choreographers shaping narratives that not only inform but also mobilise,” said.
In his keynote address, Dr Richard Munang, Head of global environment monitoring system for early warning at UNEP, painted a grim reality of climate change He underscored a significant impediment — the substantial gaps in climate financing that are hindering the continent’s progress.
“Despite the progress that African nations have made in climate change, there exist substantial gaps when it comes to climate finance,” he said.
By Lilys Njeru