The University of Nairobi received praise for its significant role in addressing climate change, demonstrated through its contributions in terms of skilled professionals, research, and its academic centers of excellence.
This recognition was reiterated during the launch of the 7th Assessment Cycle (AR7) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on August 11, 2023. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Meteorological Department.
Attending the meeting were representatives from the University of Nairobi, the African Group of Negotiator Experts, the National Focal Point, the Kenya Meteorological Department, and various other stakeholders.
The Chief Guest, Hon. Soipan Tuya, Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, and Forestry, presided over the event. She emphasized the shared impact of the climate crisis and stressed the importance of collaborative solutions.
Hon. Soipan encouraged attendees, including Kenyans, to register for the upcoming climate summit scheduled from September 4 to 8, 2023. The summit aims to impart practical strategies for addressing climate change.
In his opening statements, Prof. Julius Ogengo, the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, expressed his pride in the institution's continuous production of high-quality researchers and research outcomes across diverse fields, including humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Notably, he highlighted the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation as a leading source of exceptional research.
Prof. Ogengo further commended the University's contribution to climate science, stating, "During the 6th assessment cycle of the IPCC, the university provided some of its most accomplished researchers to lead chapters in Working Group I and Working Group II. Notably, Professors Daniel Olago and Joseph Mutemi from the Faculty of Science and Technology played pivotal roles. It is gratifying to note that both the current IPCC focal point for Kenya and the alternate are alumni of our institution."
The Ag Vice Chancellor also extended congratulations to Dr. Cromwel Lukorito, a distinguished senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi's Department of Earth and Climate Sciences. Dr. Lukorito was recently elected as Vice Chair of Working Group II within the IPCC. Prof. Ogengo pledged the University's support to Dr. Lukorito's tenure through human resources and research.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Cromwel Lukorito expressed gratitude to the ministry for entrusting him with this responsibility, considering it not merely a position but a significant challenge.
Dr. Lukorito outlined key steps for the forthcoming Assessment Cycle 7, emphasizing the need to reorganize research efforts. He highlighted that AR7 will facilitate logistical assistance to researchers, particularly from Africa, to publish their research in high-impact scientific journals. Dr. Lukorito also expressed the intention to recruit additional authors to enhance African participation in climate change research.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) serves as the United Nations' authority for evaluating scientific aspects of climate change.