President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged his commitment to protect water resources as the country grapples with effects of climate change .
Uhuru said during the launch of the Sustainable Blue Economy Conference on Monday that he is concerned climate change was challenging the sustainability of aquatic resources.
“We are already experiencing the impact of climate change, which risks triggering rising temperatures that would flood and destroy large sections of our coastal economies,” he said.
“As a result, many of the ocean systems are under immense stress. Their ability to act as a climate regulator and as a key engine for economic growth and sustainable development, is progressively being eroded.”
The President pledged to adopt policies, re-energise the economy and promote a different model to protect maritime resources.
“We will confront head on the challenges of waste management and plastic pollution that are compromising the health of our people, ocean and threatening food security,” he said.
Uhuru said maritime resources support livelihoods, enhance food security and nutrition, trade and transportation, employment and counteract the impacts of climate change.
Uhuru also pledged to ensure responsible fishing and conservation of the endangered fish species and stocks, safety and security in the seas and upgrading the Kenya maritime school.
Noting that climate change was triggering the food chain and risking productivity, Uhuru said it is vital environmental resources are protected.
“We are already feeling the impact of plastics in oceans. The eight million tons of plastics that enter the sea each year are transformed into micro-plastics that enter into the food chain and impact ecosystems as well as animal and human health worldwide,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we have paid inadequate attention to the impact of human action on the health and productivity of our waters.”
In a move to boost maritime security, Uhuru last week launched the Kenya Coast Guard Service at Liwatoni in Mombasa.
More than 11,000 delegates will be attending the three- day blue economy conference.