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PHOTO STORY: Legal Response Initiative trains Kenyan government on climate law

The Legal Response Initiative (LRI) held a legal training workshop in Nairobi on 19-20 February for representatives from the Kenyan government – in collaboration with a local partner, the Environmental Compliance Institute (ECI), and with CDKN support. The workshop was organised to provide participants with the legal skills they need to not only influence the new global deal on climate change, but also to understand what that agreement could mean for the law in Kenya. Welcoming the participants, Gerphas Opondo, the director at ECI, said, “If African views don’t feed into the UN climate change talks, the results could be skewed towards the interests of the rich and powerful nations.”

The meeting focused on international law and the existing global regime on the first day; the international negotiations leading to a new agreement and its relevance for domestic law on the second. It comprised of a mix of presentations, discussions and practical exercises, such as drafting provisions for a new legal instrument, and was attended by over 20 lawyers, climate negotiators and other government officials – mainly of the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA). Lulu Hayanqa of the Attorney-General’s Office described the workshop as “amazing and extremely successful”.

At the end of the course, Donald Kaniaru, chairman of the National Environment Tribunal, with a long career as Kenyan representative in international negotiations and as former UNEP director responsible for the development of many multilateral environmental agreements, presented participants with their certificates. He underlined the need for experience and consistency in African delegations to successfully go toe to toe with developed country parties.


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