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Pan-African network of judges likely to be based in Kenya

THURSDAY, August 02, 2018

A major pan-African network of judges could be based in Kenya should the Judiciary succeed in its bid to have it registered in Nairobi.

 

At a meeting currently being held in Maputo, Mozambique, Kenya also made a pitch for the hosting of the third “Regional Symposium on Greening the Judiciaries in Africa”, an initiative supported by United Nations Environment Programme. It is scheduled to take place in 2020.

 

The decision on the two issues will be made tomorrow as the three-day symposium, attended by representatives from 37 countries,   ends. Chief Justice David Maraga is leading the Kenyan delegation which includes the Director of the Judiciary Training Institute, Prof James Otieno Odek. 

 

Justice Maraga today chaired one of the key sessions in the Symposium which discussed “The role of the Judiciary in environmental crime including wildlife crimes”.

 

Chief Justice Maraga urged Judiciaries to be “passionate about effecting laws that safeguard the environment in its broadest sense, including ensuring conscientious utilisation of non-renewable resources, safeguarding our ecosystems with all its glorious wildlife and doing all we can to stop the scourge of global warming.”

 

During the opening session Elizabeth Mrena, the director of UNEP’s Law Division, said nearly 3.3 % of agricultural GDP in Sub-Saharan Africa is lost annually because of soil and nutrient loss. Land Degradation in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to cost USD 68billion per year.

 

“Two-thirds of the continent is desert or drylands, and 74 per cent of its agricultural drylands are already seriously or moderately degraded. 

Additionally, the Africa region is suffering deforestation at twice the world rate. For example, only 22.8 percent of West Africa`s moist forests remain,” she said.

 

On the front of environmental crime, Illegal logging costs Africa more than USD 17 billion annually while illegal poaching and trade in wildlife costs Africa more than $10.9 billion.

 

The Maputo conference seeks sensitise African Judiciaries about the need to promote environmental accountability.

Ends/…

 

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