Climate data “Made in Kenya” – An important first for Africa

The first research center of its kind in Africa, “Mazingira” will generate more precise and cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions measurements for Kenya. This could lay the groundwork for similar efforts across the continent.

The Mazingira Center in Nairobi—named after the Kiswahili word for “environment”— is already churning out data. Previously, Kenya has had to rely on generic default emission factors provided by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The data in question are used, among other things, to prepare the typical biennial reports on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The state-of-the-art lab enables scientists to measure emissions from a full range of sources in Kenya, including livestock and smallholder farms, manure management systems, and other productive land use, such as forests, tea and timber plantations. Early returns show that Mazingira’s measurements are more accurate—and thus vastly more useful—than what the country had been using before. Continue reading.