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Environment conservation key to sustainable businesses

By , People Daily Digital
Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 00:00 | 2 mins read
Environmental conservation.

Richard Ngatia

Environmental conservation has taken an epicentre of current and future discourses to protect our planet and conserve natural resources so that every living thing can have an improved quality of life.

In a globalised, more vibrant and competitive world economy, there is every reason why businesses must take the lead on matters environmental conservation to ensure sustainability and long-term financial viability.

The nexus between economic development and environmental conservation is clearly manifested as underscored in the UNDP Human Development Report 1994 as one of the key seven pillars of human security paradigm. 

Adverse environmental impact has corresponding negative impact to businesses and other investments. However, the desired sustainable exploitation of natural resources can only be achieved through multilateral engagement by states and non-state actors across the globe.

The recently-concluded Kirinyaga Cultural Festival which I presided over under the  theme of “Conserving our water towers through culture” is in line with the global call for climate conservation as businesses continue to feel the pinch of global warming more and more annually. 

The US Fourth National Climate Assessment published last year identified that “warmer temperatures, sea level rise and extreme weather will damage property and critical infrastructure, impact human health and productivity, and negatively affect sectors such as agriculture fisheries and tourism” all of which are critical segments of Kenya’s economy. 

It is for this reason that the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry is in the forefront in advocating for sustainable businesses that care about the environment as much as they focus on maximising profits.

At both regional and global level coupled by gradually diminishing border restrictions and increased trade cooperation, transnational organised crimes have given rise to considerable expansion of environmental crimes.

Led by vast financial gains and facilitated by a low risk of detection and scarce conviction rates, criminal networks are becoming increasingly interested in illicit transnational activities. This has and will continue to pose international security threat. 

These phenomena fuel vices  such as corruption and money-laundering just to mention a few that undermine the rule of law. This also put citizens’ health and safety at risk and abets diversion of resources. Environmental crimes represent today an emerging form of transnational organised crime requiring more better-coordinated responses at national and international levels. 

For example, Korea and Denmark, together with COP-16 host Mexico, began promoting green growth in line with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and they established the Green Growth Alliance in 2010.

This alliance was joined by China, Kenya and Qatar in 2012, Ethiopia in 2014 and Vietnam in 2015. Korea and Denmark have been shaping green growth to encompass public–private partnerships through investments in the green sector and market-driven principles but have still actively connected green growth in order to contribute to global sustainable development and poverty eradication.

As a growing necessity, international treaties have moved beyond simple pledges of mutual cooperation to incorporate substantive control measures such as trade restrictions.

The writer is president , Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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