Following succesful completion of two phases of National Environment Trust Fund (NETFUND) Green Innovations Award, the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Resources in conjunction with the Embassy of Sweden in Nairobi have successfully unveiled the 2015 NETFUND Green Innovations Awards. The annual programme acts as a catalyst for transforming green grassroots projects into inclusive green enterprises. It also seeks to instill a positive culture of self regulation in environmental management in Kenya.
The significant launch comes at a time when environmentalists and governments across the world are meeting in Paris to formulate a landmark agreement to discuss ways of tackling climate change in a bid to eliminate poverty and hunger by 2030.The Government of Kenya has fully embraced the ideals of Green Growth with the formulation of various policies and guiding instruments.
These instruments are aimed at ensuring environmental sustainability whilst combating adverse effects of climate change. Key among these is the Kenya Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP), the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and the National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCRS). These documents are linked to Vision 2030, our development blueprint. All these actions are geared towards a low carbon growth trajectory and better adaption ability that ultimately provide a clean and healthy environment for all Kenyans.
During the launch, CS Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu said “Apart from the cash prize, the beneficiaries of NETFUND GIA will walk away with technical and business support worth up to KES5 Million offered during the incubation program.
“I wish to encourage multiple partners and donors to come on board to support clean energy projects for a safe environment. The incubation program provides technical and business support to the competitively selected applicants.”
NETFUND also provides seed funding, incubation center and investment platforms in order to link these businesses to potential investors. This year’s award is unique and different with the inclusion of the Women’s category which is the right step towards empowering women in Kenya, especially at grassroots levels.
In 2012, the NETFUND GIA was established to enhance public awareness on green growth initiatives, promote an enabling environment for green growth initiatives and support the development of green enterprises in Kenya. Winners are awarded up to KES 2,000,000 in funding, spread over two phases. In addition to providing direct financial support for research and training and implementation, the program offers participants networking and leadership development opportunities.
Last year, the program attracted over 1700 applicants from different regions in Kenya who are working in a variety of areas within environmental protection. The judging panel, consisting of representatives of a variety of research institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations, selected three (3) winners per category from different parts of Kenya, all of whom showed a unique sense of personal mission and commitment to environment conservation and sustenance.
The winners’ interest areas included energy saving methods like home-made hydro-electricity plants to waste management solutions and paper made from water Hyacinth. The NETFUND GIA awarding Gala is slotted to be held mid next year, with all green innovators encouraged to apply.
The event was largely attended by Board of Trustees and Staff, National Environment Trust Fund and Principal Secretary,Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Resources among others.