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Environment and Planning Division holds inaugural stakeholder meeting

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Environment and Planning Division holds inaugural stakeholder meeting

The newly established Environment and Planning Division of the Environment and Land Court (ELC) held its first stakeholder meeting to introduce its mandate as well as initiate collaborative dialogue.
Speaking during the meeting, held in Nairobi on February 15, 2024, Head of the Division, Justice Anne Omollo, said the vision of establishing two divisions within the Court was a commitment made to Kenyans during the ELC’s 10th anniversary celebrations. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the visibility of the environmental wing of the Court, which had been primarily associated with land disputes.
“I am pleased to announce that this vision was realized in July 2023 when the Chief Justice formally launched the two divisions of the Environment and Land Court (ELC), comprising the Land Division and the Environment and Planning Division,” said Justice Omollo.
Permanent Secretary, State Department for Mining, Mr Elijah Mwangi said that discussions with stakeholders will enable them understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to environmental matters.
Justice Jacqueline Mogeri, a judge of the Division, noted that there was no much traffic on Environmental cases because of lack of awareness and high court filing fees.
“The CJ, during the ELC@10 celebrations in Kilifi, promised to address the issue of the cost of filing these cases as part of the Social Transformation Through Access to Justice’s plan of enhancing access to justice, and we are hopeful that very soon the issue will be sorted,” said Justice Mogeni.
The Environment and Planning Division will play a key role in the promotion and protection of environmental rights, preservation and protection of natural resources and enforcement of those rights. Through it, cases related to the environment will receive the attention they deserve.
Primarily, the Environment and Planning Division will give visibility to environmental matters that had hitherto been overshadowed by land matters.
In accordance with the ELC New Divisions User Operations Manual, the new division will handle disputes concerning the environment and environmental rights, climate change, environment and developmental planning, environmental protection, conservation, pollution control, natural resource management, and sustainable development, among other related disputes.
The Court will also provide timelines and avenues for quick disposal of environmental conflicts, create awareness to the public and all stakeholders on environmental matters, and develop jurisprudence on environmental law, thus making its contribution to the achievement of environmental related Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

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