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Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resourses in Kenya


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The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities

The mandate of the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities is to protect, conserve and manage the environment and natural resources for socio-economic development.

Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies under the Ministry

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)
Kenya Water Towers Agency (KWTA)
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
Kenya Forest Service (KFS)
Kenya Forest Research Institute (KEFRI)

Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) Institutions

National Environment Council (NEC)
National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND)
National Environment Tribunal (NET)
Public Complaints Committee (PCC)

Functions of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resourses

  • Environmental Policy Management
  • Forestry Development Policy Management
  • Wildlife Conservation PolicyManagement
  • Regional Development Authority Policy
  • Water Resources Management Policy
  • Water and Sewerage Services Policy Management
  • Waste Water treatment and Disposal Policy Management
  • Conservation and Protection of National Wildlife
  • Management of Marine Parks
  • Meteorological Management
  • Water Catchment Area Conservation, Control and Protection
  • Restoration of Lake Naivasha Basin
  • Development of Forests, Reforestation and Agro-forestry
  • Kenya Forestry Services
  • Restoration of Strategic Water Towers
  • Protection and Regulation of Marine Ecosystems
  • Meteorological Training
  • National Environmental Management
  • Management of Lake Victoria Basin and Environment Programmes
  • Water Quality and Pollution Control
  • Sanitation Management
  • Dam Construction Schemes Management
  • Flood Control and Land Reclamation
  • Coordination of Climate Change Affairs
  • Management of Public Water Schemes and Community Water Project

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) – Ministry of Environment and Natural Resourses

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is established under the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) No. 8 of 1999, as the principal instrument of government in the implementation of all policies relating to the environment.
The Authority became operational on 1st July 2002 following the merger of three government departments, namely: the National Environment Secretariat (NES), the Permanent Presidential Commission on Soil Conservation and Afforestation (PPCSCA), and the Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS). However, following government restructuring in March 2003, DRSRS reverted to its departmental status under the then Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR). There was a transition period characterised by the integration of previous departmental activities and appointment of the first Board of Management.

Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA), 1999

The enactment of EMCA, 1999 was a milestone in promoting sustainable environmental management in the country. The Act provides for the harmonization of about 77 sectoral statutes, which address aspects of the environment. Some sectoral statutes have inadequate provisions for prosecution of environmental offenders, while in some penalties are not sufficiently punitive to deter offenders. EMCA, 1999 provides an institutional framework and procedures for management of the environment, including provisions for conflict resolution.
Section 3 of EMCA, 1999 states that “Every person in Kenya is entitled to a clean and healthy environment and has the duty to safeguard and enhance the environment.” The Act is intended to ensure that our activities do not compromise the capacity of the resource base to meet the needs of the present generation as well as those of future generations (WCED, 1987)

Functions of NEMA – Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities

The functions of NEMA include:-

  • Coordinating the various environmental management activities being undertaken by the lead agencies
  • Promote the integration of environmental considerations into development policies, plans, programmes and projects, with a view to ensuring the proper management and rational utilization of environmental resources, on sustainable yield basis, for the improvement of the quality of human life in Kenya.
  • To take stock of the natural resources in Kenya and their utilization and conservation.
  • To establish and review land use guidelines.
  • Examine land use patterns to determine their impact on the quality and quantity of natural resources.
    Carry out surveys, which will assist in the proper management and conservation of the environment.
  • Advise the Government on legislative and other measures for the management of the environment or the implementation of relevant international conventions, treaties and agreements.
  • Advise the Government on regional and international conventions, treaties and agreements to which Kenya should be a party and follow up the implementation of such agreements.
  • Undertake and coordinate research, investigation and surveys, collect, collate and disseminate information on the findings of such research, investigations or surveys.
  • Mobilize and monitor the use of financial and human resources for environmental management.
  • Identify projects and programmes for which environmental audit or environmental monitoring must be conducted under this Act.
  • Initiate and evolve procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents, which may cause environmental degradatIon and evolve remedial measures where accidents occur e.g. floods, landslides and oilspills.
  • Monitor and assess activities, including activities being carried out by relevant lead agencies, in order to ensure that the environment is not degraded by such activities. Management objectives must be adhered to and adequate early warning on impending environmental emergencies is given.
Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resourses in Kenya

Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resourses in Kenya

National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) – Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities

The National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) is a state corporation under the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities. NETFUND was established within the provisions of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) to facilitate research intended to further the requirements of environmental management, capacity building, environmental awards, environmental publications, scholarships and grants.
NETFUND is governed by a Board of Trustees (BoT) which is the highest decision making organ of the Fund. The BoT members are appointed by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Environment. They are selected on the basis of qualifications as stipulated under EMCA.
The BoT is responsible for policy formulation, oversight of the Fund’s assets and undertaking any other activities within the mandate of the organisation. The day-to-day running of the organisation is vested in the Chief Executive Officer who is supported by a devoted and skilled team.

Institutions under the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities

  • Coast Development Authority
  • Ewaso Nyiro North Development Authority
  • Imarisha Lake Naivasha Management Board
  • Kenya Forest Service
  • Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Kenya Meteorological Department
  • Kenya Meteorological Training Institute
  • Kenya Water Institute
  • Kenya Wildlife Services
  • Kerio Valley Development Authority
  • Lake Basin Development Authority
  • National Environment Trust
  • National Environmental Management Authority
  • National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation
  • Tana and Athi River Development Authority
  • Tanathi, Lake Victoria, North & South RiftValley, Coast & Northern Water Service Boards
  • Water Appeals Tribunal
  • Water Catchment Conservation Agency
  • Water Resources Management Authority
  • Water Services Boards
  • Water Services Trust Fund
  • Water Services Regulatory Board

Top Management – Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities

Cabinet Secretary: Prof. Judi Wakhungu
Principal Secretary: Charles T. Sunkuli (State Department of Environment)
Principal Secretary: Dr. Margaret W. Mwakima, PHD (Natural Resources)
Environment Secretary: Dr. Alice Kaudia
Conservation Secretary: Gideon Gathaara
Secretary Administration: William K. Kiprono

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Contacts

The Principal Secretary,
The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities
Physical Location: NHIF Building, 12th Floor, Ragati Road, Upperhill
Postal Address: P.O BOX 30126 – 00100
City: Nairobi, Kenya
Telephone: +254 20 2730808/9, +254 20 2725707, +254 20 2725707
Website: www.environment.go.ke

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