Monday, 12 June 2017
What’s up 2017!!
Okay I know we are halfway past 2017... It has been a while since I wrote… well wrote here! Honestly I am ashamed that it has been more than a year, but life is like that and things happen, so hey, please forgive me, because I have forgiven myself already.
A lot has been happening since I last wrote, first and foremost, I was doing my thesis and it took a toll on me. All the writing, editing and corrections took a lot of my time and I just postponed writing on this blog about current issues in the environmental sphere. Then just slightly after my last post, I was attending the 2nd United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) here in Nairobi and I got so busy writing applications for jobs and short courses that I got wind of at the UNEA. With that said, let me mention, one application went through and a few months later I was at the University of Dresden (TUD) in Germany, attending a short course in integrated water management and health. I wrote a few posts about my experience on their website CIPSEM you should actually check them out, they have interesting courses focusing on the environment. So me being me, the travel junkie, I travelled to Czech Republic and Switzerland and of course posted pictures of how awesome my ‘euro-trip’ was! Immediately when I got back home, I collaborated with my 350 Kenya counterparts, you know climate change action never gets old for some of us! I went down to the coast to document stories on the impacts of climate change in Kilifi county, these stories would be later show-cased at COP 23 in Marrakech. So yes, COP 23 went down in Morocco! Did I forget to mention that Trump won the Presidential US election? Oh well, yes he did, and this came with tons of worries by most environmentalists from all corners of the globe. Trump is clearly a climate denier, and having him in power put at risk all the efforts put in by nations to combat climate change, a treaty in which the US previously supported through signing the Paris treaty which was passed during COP 21. Stories about this coming up later by the way…
So anyway, it is in November 2016 that I was awarded through the Conservation Leadership Program (CLP) an internship position within BirdLife International. So far it has been a great experience, with key learning on conservation and how to support conservation priorities. I’ve also learnt a great deal about birds, and can name quite a number. In short, I am enjoying my internship even though it is now almost at its ends. Through this internship I also got a chance to visit the UK, during which I visited the BirdLife Global secretariat in Cambridge and also, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) which is the BirdLife UK partner. I also got to write about my trip here please feel to read this, I promise it is exciting!
What is new in 2017? Other than elections here in Kenya, the ban on plastic bags is soon to be implemented in August. I am actually not sure how this will go down, because the supply is huge and so is the demand! I also feel that many Kenyans are not really keen on this plastic bag ban. I wish it the very best! Next, the #MadarakaExpress! So the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is now in use, and the maiden trip happened just before Madaraka day, Kenyans were very excited about this. However, some of us still feel it should have been re-routed, because we love the Nairobi National Park for all that it’s got, but mr. president called it ‘upuzi’ so what can we do about it! Okay, let us see how that goes… Have you heard of “The Big Conservation Lie”? This is a book by John Mbaria and Mordecai Ogada, on the management and conservation practice in Kenya for several decades. I am currently reading this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone in the conservation field. That is just as much as I would say about it – get a copy! Globally, the biggest concern this year I think is Trump’s recent move to have the US withdraw from the Paris agreement. The panic that this came with, weuh!! We are just here with crossed-fingers that we will remain strong in fighting climate change regardless of any challenges that come our way. I promise to write soon, and more on the environment, as usual…
So I will get a bit personal here, this very year I lost a brother and that was a big blow, even in my work, after all we are only human and we will get beat by life at times. Ngure Cairo, I will dearly miss you, your support in reading this blog, following my Facebook page and twitter handle. I will miss your critique, you really helped me think much about how to respond to readers. Cheers to the support you gave me in my environmental work and in life generally! You are always and forever fondly loved, and I dedicate this post to you.