[4th February 2011]


The Ambassador with Mr. Sanada, Secretary-Genaral of MOTTAINAI Campaign at the MOTTAINAI shop at the Mainichi Newspapers

Shigeo Yamada/The Mainichi Newspapers

H.E. Ambassador Mr. Benson H.O. Ogutu visited Mainichi Newspaper on 20th January 2011 to learn about MOTTAINAI Campaign and to obtain further insights into the projects and initiatives being undertaken by Mainichi Newspapers, Itochu Corporation and other supporters of the Campaign.

MOTTAINAI Campaign was set into motion by Prof. Wangari Maathai (the 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate), when she came to Japan at the invitation of the Mainichi Newspapers February 2005. The campaign is striving for world peace through environmental conservation, effective use of limited resources and efforts to prevent global warming – hence the clarion call by MOTTAINAI through the “3Rs”: Reduce waste, Reuse finite resources, and Recycle what we can. Many people across Japan have shown their support for the concept of MOTTAINAI, with a recent poll showing that 80 percent of Japanese are aware of MOTTAINAI Campaign.

Apart from the briefing on the noble objectives undertaken through the Campaign, the Ambassador also toured the MOTTAINAI Shop located in the same premises. The goods sold in the shop are made using recycled materials from various products. Part of the proceeds from the sales are donated to Tree Planting Activities of Green Belt Movement which Prof. Wangari Maathai implements. Also available for free viewing by visitors to the shop are videos and messages from Prof. Wangari Maathai and the staff of Green Belt Movement which elaborate their activities and contribution to environmental conservation in general.

At the official bilateral level, Environmental Conservation is one of the priority areas where the Government of Japan is giving the assistance to Kenya. These include inter alia: the Water Development & Sanitation, Forest Conservation, Development of necessary Technologies and other measures to address Climate Change, Community Based Flood Disaster Control Measures as well as, Improvement of Environmental Management Capacities especially in urban areas.

A distinct feature of Kenya’s foreign policy is a strong orientation towards environmental issues. This orientation emanates from the recognition of Kenya’s enormous stake in the management of its own resources, those of the region and the world. Kenya is considered the cradle of mankind and custodian of unique flora and fauna. She is also host to the United Nations Enviroment Programme (UNEP). Kenya therefore takes seriously her obligation to transmit humanity’s inheritance to posterity in the same or better form.

The New constitution of Kenya which was promulgated in August 2010 also places emphasis and ensuring sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources. In accordance with this basic law of the land, Kenya shall work to achieve and maintain tree coverage at least 10% of the total land area.

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