SUSWATCH began with CSOs engaged in the Rio Environmental process.
During the Johannesburg summit, Sustainability Watch was formed and this included CSOs in the South and in the North. The South Sustainability Watch comprised regional nodes in Africa; Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia with a large number of networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe.
The East Africa SusWatch network was established and was hosted in Kampala, Uganda and at the time SUSWATCH was hosted at Kenya Organization for Environmental Education (KOEE). The other organizations that made up the network are Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development (UCSD) and Tanzania Coalition for Sustainable Development (TCSD). SIDA gave funding to EA SusWatch for Lake Victoria Environment Management Project (LVEMP) in phase 1 focusing on MDG 1, 7 and 8. As phase 2 of the LVEMP Project progressed, SIDA requested that the Kenya chapter seek autonomy from KOEE and seek legal registration.
SUSWATCH Kenya finally submitted its application for registration as a Non Governmental Organization.
The registration was approved and certificate issued in March 2011. SUSWATCH has since had observer status with UNFCCC, UNCCD, UNEP CSOs. And is still awaiting notification of status from UN ECOSOC
Since registration, SUSWATCH Kenya has implemented several projects supported by SIDA, USAID, the World Bank and DANIDA on Climate Change, Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Land Management (SLM)
The organization also sits in some committees responsible for policy development in the country, such as the Kenya Climate Change Working Group (KCCWG). Through these platforms the organization has been able to table more informed policies based on the situation the local communities are facing. SusWatch has also been proactive in keeping the government accountable to policy commitments made related to climate change; this has been done through pushing for the implementation of the East Africa Community Climate Change Policy (EACCCP 2011), the Paris Agreement (2015) and the implementation of the Lake Victoria Transport Act (2007).