The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), is established under the Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act No. 8 of 1999 (EMCA) as the principal instrument of Government for the implementation of all policies relating to environment. EMCA 1999 was enacted against a backdrop of 78 sectoral laws dealing with various components of the environment, the deteriorating state of Kenya's environment, as well as increasing social and economic inequalities, the combined effect of which negatively impacted on the environment. The supreme objective underlying the enactment of EMCA 1999 was to bring harmony in the management of the country's environment.
Mandate of NEMA
The object and purpose for which NEMA is established under EMCA is twofold: to ensure sustainable management ofbthe environment through exercising general supervision and coordination over matters relating to the environment and; to be the principal instrument of government in the implementation of all policies relating to the environment.
The functions of the Authority are stipulated in EMCA and include:
i) coordinating environmental management activities being undertaken by the lead agencies;
ii) taking stock of the natural resources;iii) advising on land use planning;
iv) undertaking research, investigation and surveys in the field of environment and disseminating information onthe findings;
v) mobilizing and monitoring the use of financial and human resources for environmental management;
vi) regulating, monitoring and assessing activities to ensure that the environment is not degraded;
vii) enforcing environmental standards,
viii) undertaking environmental education, public awareness and public participation programmes; developing,publishing and disseminating manuals, codes or guidelines relating to environmental management;
ix) preparing the state of the environment report and; development and implementation of the nationalenvironment action plans.
The functions of NEMA are not only stipulated in EMCA, 1999 but also in the Climate Change Act, 2016. Section 17 ofthe said Act empowers NEMA on behalf of the National Climate Change Council to monitor, investigate and report onwhether public and private entities are in compliance with the assigned climate change duties and to regulate, enforce andmonitor compliance on levels of greenhouse gas emissions as set by the Council under the Act.The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 under Article 42 also creates obligations for NEMA in a bid to help the citizens achievea clean and healthy environment. To this extent NEMA must ensure that the environment is protected for the benefit ofpresent and future generations in accordance with the principles of sustainable development stipulated in Article 10 ofthe Constitution. Other obligations are also stipulated under Article 69 and Article 70 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
A clean, healthy and sustainable environment
To coordinate, supervise and manage all matters relating to the environment in Kenya
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