George Wainaina, UNON staff member

I was an 18-year old form five student at Kabarnet High School, located in the then remote part of Baringo district of Rift Valley province, eager to learn and enter into the adult life in the emerging Kenyan nation. In February 1972 our Geography teacher, Ruben Chebii (bless his soul), would in his teaching focus our young minds into issues of environment, biodiversity and the food chain etc… and how the human race could make or break what nature has over centuries kept in perfect balance.

Then we heard through radio and read in newspapers of that big conference in Nairobi, (over 400 kilometers from where we sat learning about environment and in our minds a whole world away from us), that was bringing together all the nations of the world to bring attention and do something about the environment.

40 years down the line, the need to do more to maintain that elusive perfect balance is even more relevant and urgent. For UNEP, the job is still a long way from being done. But then, we salute you for what you have achieved in the last 40-odd years.