Environmental Law in Kenya

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1. How can Environmental Law be effectively enforced in Kenya?

For environmental law to be effectively enacted in Kenya their needs to be emphasis on the need for a universal environmental ethic. There needs to be a concern on the ability to provide information that changes behaviour towards the environment i.e. not stopping at awareness creation but to also go through education & advocacy. This led to the enactment of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act. (EMCA). With the enactment of the EMCA, the fundamental principles on the environment espoused in various multilateral environmental agreements and intellectual discourse were incorporated into Kenyan law. Therefore it is based on the recognition that improved co ordination of the diverse sectoral initiatives is necessary for better management of the environment. To facilitate a coordinated approach to environmental management, EMCA establishes several organs as discussed below which help in the effective enforcement of environmental law:

i) National Environmental Council

It is responsible for policy formulation and directing, setting national goals and objectives, determining policy and priorities for the protection of the environment and the promotion of cooperation among the public and private bodies engaged in environmental protection programmes.

The council is responsible in regards to international treaties, conventions and agreements relating to the management of the environment to which Kenya is a party or should be a party.

ii) National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA)

It is responsible for the following:
(a) Co-ordinate the various environmental management activities being undertake by the lead agencies and 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 a sustainable yield basis for the improvement of the quality of human life in Kenya; (b) Take stock of the natural resources in Kenya and their utilization and conservation; (c) Establish and review in consultation with the relevant lead agencies, land use guidelines; (d) Examine land use patterns to determine their impact on the quality and quantity of natural resources. (e) Carry out surveys which will assist in the proper management and conservation of the environment; (f) Advise the government on legislative and other measures for the management of the environment or the implementation of relevant international conventions, treaties and agreements in the field of environment,

(g) advise the government on regional and international environmental conventions, treaties and agreements to which Kenya should be a party and follow up the implementation of such of such agreements where Kenya is party; (h) Undertake and co-ordinate research, investigation and surveys in the field of Environment and collect collate and disseminate information about the findings Of such research, investigation or survey;

(I) mobilize and monitor the use of financial and human resources for environmental Management;
(J) identify projects and programs or types of projects and programs, plans and policies for which environmental audit or environmental monitoring must be conducted under this Act; (k) Initiate and evolve procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents Which may cause environmental degradation and evolve remedial measures where Accidents occur;

(l) 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, environmental management objectives are adhered to and adequate early warning on impending environmental emergency is given; (m) Undertake, in co-operation with relevant lead agencies, programmes intended to enhance environmental education and public awareness about the need for...
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