Unlocking Kenya´s Business Potential Arising from the use of its Biodiversity and Associated Traditional Knowledge

Pic: Kenyan experts on biological and genetic resources and their associated traditional knowledge pose for a picture after the technical meeting

UNDP-Kenya, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Council of Governors (CoG) Secretariat, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and the Kenyan Wildlife Service organized an expert meeting at the Tafaria Castle and Countryside hotel from 22-26 October 2019, to unravel how to unlock the country´s business potential arising from the use of its genetic resources(GR) and associated traditional knowledge(TK). The meeting was sponsored by the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project under UNDP-Kenya Chapter and had the participation of various key stakeholders ranging from traditional knowledge (TK) holders, University and Intellectual Property (IP) managers, resource providers, county governments, regulators and policy makers. The key purpose of the meeting was to share experiences and lessons learned both at the global and national level, that would inform and guide the country towards developing systems for effective protection, management and commodification of the country’s TK associated with genetic resources.

The use of terms, specifically traditional knowledge and local knowledge, were extensively discussed, including the ongoing debates for Post 2020 strategy for biodiversity, impact of Digital Sequence Information (DSI) on TK, multi-lateral benefit sharing systems, WIPO TK process, CITES and the road from CoP14 Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt to CoP15 in Kunming in China.

The main outcome from the expert meeting was a revelation that management of TK in Kenya is under various legal instruments under different institutions. Regardless of wide range exploitation of Kenya’s TK associated with genetic resources, it was reported that there were no permits or ABS permits granted based on TK. Out of the various institutional IP policies that were operational in the country, there were only few that included TK compliance measures. Some of these measures on TK and genetic resources are separate, but no regulations or guidelines providing for procedures for access and benefit sharing exist.

Given the significance of TK associated to genetic resources, the main recommendation from the expert workshop was the need to urgently put in place measures for protection, preservation and unlocking the potential for Kenya´s TK.

Kenya´s stand on the implementation of Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) mechanisms

Kenya is party to various international instruments dealing with traditional knowledge associated to genetic resources. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing, Cartagena Protocol, WIPO treaties, the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), among others.

The international instruments previously indicated have been recognized under the country’s supreme law, the constitution and other domestic measures, including legislations, regulations and policies. Even though Kenya does not hold a substantive ABS law, the country has approved the ABS regulation of 2006, encompassing access and benefit sharing principles as stated in the Nagoya Protocol. In this regard, access permits in Kenya are subject to Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) between resource providers and users. Additionally, the country is in the process of developing the first online permitting system and reviewing its ABS domestic legislation to conform to the constitution and Nagoya Protocol provisions.

Currently, the government has established a Task Force to develop regulations within 90 days to operationalize TK and Cultural Expressions. The participants explored this opportunity and proposed accompanying ABS regulations and guidelines as some of the outputs within the proposed period. The workshop proposed a 7-member team to work closely with the National TK and Cultural Expression Task Force. In addition, a communication is to be released through the CoG to all the 47 Counties on the on-going process to develop regulations under TK and Cultural Expressions, generating awareness and establishing a network platform for TK holders and guidelines for the development of PIC and MAT.

These processes will be supported by the UNDP-GEF Global ABS funds and the Government of Kenya within the 2019/2020 financial year.

By Kabaka Watai (OGW), Kenya Wildlife Service

& Geoffrey Omedo, Portfolio Analyst UNDP

Training Workshop on IT Monitoring Tool for ABS in India

Pic: Workshop on IT Monitoring Tool for ABS in India, January 2020

A training-workshop organized by the Indo-German ABS Partnership and the National Biodiversity Authority of India, in collaboration with the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project, was held at Chennai, India, to present an online Permit and Monitoring System, supporting the National Implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

The permit and monitoring system tool is a single electronic permit system that facilitates the monitoring and reporting of applications of permits related to the access and use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. The system allows governmental authorities to permanently review and approve ABS access and use permits and applications, ensuring compliance to national ABS legal frameworks stated under provisions of the Nagoya Protocol.

The aim of the workshop was to introduce the event attendees to this tool, developed by the Indo-German ABS Project in close cooperation with the Indian Center for Advanced Computing (CDAC), featuring two free softwares (Gephi and Tableau) that can process taxonomic and patent data that generate useful information to determine the extent of use of genetic resources in query. Both softwares are free and available now.

Mr. Anthony Foronda, UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project Regional Technical Advisor on ABS for Asia/Pacific. India, January 2020.

The event was attended by Alejandro Lago, Global ABS Project Manager, who highlighted the key aspects and the features of the Global ABS Community, and plans on carrying out a pilot on the usefulness of Blockchain as a technology to facilitate the monitoring of the utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.

Additionally, Anthony Foronda, Regional Technical Advisor on ABS for Asia/Pacific, graced the opening session by highlighting the importance of cooperation among like-minded institutions to be able to add value to these kind of activities and take forward the training-workshops not only in India, but to the international ABS community.

In 2016, the German Agency for International Cooperation presented this model of system as a series of integrated components that can be developed and adapted by countries or entities interested in implementing it. “We hope that this model will contribute to building shared capacity and collaboration between Parties interested in developing effective ways to meet the access, benefit-sharing, monitoring and reporting requirements of the Protocol.”

About the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project

The UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol is a three-year project (August 2016-2019) that aims to assist 23 countries in the national implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

The Global ABS Community is the community of practice developed under the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project, oriented to provide information, knowledge dissemination and experience exchange among project participating and non-participating countries setting the foundation for the establishment of a global cooperation framework on Access and Benefit Sharing.

Kenya has launched its National Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism

Phot: HowardWilks at Pixabay.

Source:ABS-sustainabledevelopment UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project

Since April 2020, information about biodiversity activities and relevant documents related to Access and Benefit Sharing are available through the National Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism (CHM) for Kenya. The launch of the platform represents one step forward on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in the country.

The website, presented as a participatory integrated system to collect and disseminate biodiversity data under open access for Kenya, provides a broad range of information. Through the platform, users can access existing legal frameworks on biodiversity and national strategies, status and trends, a research database, news and events as well as ABS related documents of interest available to download.

Previously, Kenya had organized an expert meeting in October 2019, under the support of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project, to unlock the country´s business potential arising from the use of its genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. Learn more about this important event here.

What´s a CHM

The Clearing-House Mechanism (CHM) is a two-way information exchange platform established in accordance with  Article 18.3 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Its purpose is to contribute to national planning, implementation and reporting of biodiversity initiatives and promote scientific and technical cooperation.

It helps to bring together potential users and providers of goods, services and information, thus matching demand with supply.

About the Nagoya Protocol implementation in Kenya

Kenya approved its ABS regulation in 2006, encompassing access and benefit sharing principles as stated in the Nagoya Protocol. Access permits in Kenya are subject to Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and Mutually Agreed Terms (MAT) between resource providers and users. Additionally, the country is in the process of developing the first online permitting system and reviewing its ABS domestic legislation to conform to the constitution and Nagoya Protocol provisions.

View here the ABS biodiscovery project developed in Kenya under the support of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project. Learn more on Kenya´s biodiversity here.

National Inception Workshop for the Global ABS Project

National Inception Workshop for the Global ABS Project

The National Inception Workshop for the Global ABS Project “Strengthening human resources, legal frameworks and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya protocol” was held at Panafric Hotel Nairobi- Kenyaon August 1st 2017 ,

Key key objective of the workshop were:

  • Assist national partners in Kenya to fully understand and take ownership of the project;
  • Discuss project management, reporting, M&E requirements and financial procedures;
  • Present the Annual Work Plan for 2017;
  • Clarify the role of the key national actors in the project at both national and local levels.

Application for Access permit

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND CO-ORDINATION ACT

(No. 8 of 1999)

NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY

INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

Pursuant to legal notice No. 160 of Environmental Management and coordination (Conservation of Biodiversity and Resource, Access to Genetic resources and Benefit Sharing) regulations, 2006 the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received application for access permit for the following

  1. DETAILS OF THE APPLICANT:

Dr. Jens Zinke

Research assistant professor, UWA/AIMS

University of Western Australia, 35 stirling Highway – WA 6009 crawley.

PROJECT TITTLE:

Evaluating Current Responses and Projecting the Effects of Climate Change on WIO and Reef Ecosystem from Historical Variability.

SPONSOR:

The project is supported by a WIOMSA MASMA grant and the advanced Geochemical Facility for Indian Ocean Research at the University of Western Australia in collaboration with Stanford University (US) and RWTH Aachen (GERMANY)

ACTIVITY:

Drilling of cores from living massive porites sp. Corals along a transect covering Mombasa, Malindi and Tana Coral Reefs.

Sample coral fragments from ancient Swahili ruins to precisely date the Swahili settlements and to simultaneously reconstruct the climate that prevailed during the various settlement periods for the past 1000 years.

The primary objective is to determine the seasonal variability in sea surface temperature (SST), the hydrological balance and sediment river discharge due to climate changes, foremost of year and decadal-scale variability. The climate baseline includes hydrological re-organization during e.g. the medieval warm period around 800-1200 AD, the little ice age around 1550-1850 AD.

METHODS TO BE USED

Use commercially available hand-held pneumatic air tool (RODCRAFT) with working pressure of 6 bars. One dive cylinder of 220 bars is needed to drill 30cm of coral core section. Each 30cm core section is broken at the base to remove the single pieces. The drill holes in the massive corals will be plugged with concrete cylinders to prevent bio-eroding organisms to damage and weaken the corals.

The element analysis will be done at the advanced Geochemical Facility for Indian Ocean Research (AGFIOR) at the University of Western Australia in Perth and at the RWTH Aachen in Germany.

Stable isotopes will be measured at Stanford University (US) in the lab of Prof. Rob Dunbar.

PROJECT DURATION

13th June 2014 to 31st may 2017

PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH:

The study proposes to examine the spatial and temporal environmental changes affecting coastal ecosystems and livelihoods in the western Indian Ocean on historical time scale covering the last 1000 years.

 

  1. DETAILS OF THE APPLICANT:

Prof. Susan Claire Alberts

Department Of Biology

Duke University, 2813 Mcdowellrd-27705 Durham,Nc.

 

PROJECT TITTLE:

Research on Demography and behavior of baboons in Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya

ACTIVITY:

Designing sampling protocols and analysis of samples that include blood, feaces, hair and tissues from the study populations of baboons in Amboseli Ecosystem.

PROJECT DURATION

11th September 2015 to 30th September 2018

PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH:

The study will generate data and information to enhance conservation and management of species in Amboseli Ecosystem

 

  1. DETAILS OF THE APPLICANT:

Dr. Daniel Rubenstein

Department Of ecology and evolutionary biology

Princeton University

25 East Frank Line Road, Pennington, New Jersey, USA 08534

PROJECT TITTLE:

Research on Wildlife behavior, ecology and ranging in relation to vegetation, predation and livestock in the greater laikipia-samburu ecosystem.

ACTIVITY:

Collecting fecal specimens from variety of wildlife species including equine, bovine, elephant, hippopotamus, caprine, porcine, murine, canine, reptile, feline, and laporidae species.

They will be collected non-invasively, after the feces has been deposited by the animal. The feces will be used for DNA analysis to identify the specific species fed upon.

A sample of the collected feces to be thoroughly dried and analyzed for nutrients contents. Sample of the vegetation to be collected as baseline reference, which will be similarly dried and tested for nutrients.

 METHODS TO BE USED

Deploy 16 radio collars, divided evenly between the two species, and between the sexes, and distributed across the geographic area where population survey is conducted.

Use permutation tests to identify differences between the two species in their movement responses to bottom-up, top-down, and competitive forces. Used an array of statistical techniques to learn much from the rich data set primarily focusing on permutation tests and Bayesian Monte Carlo Approaches.

Test the balance between forage and water use by measuring various spatiotemporal statistics relating to water use and proximity, including distance from water, temporal correlations in such distances, and interval between successive visits to water.

PROJECT DURATION

The project will run for 5 years

PURPOSE OF THE RESEARCH:

The study proposes to investigate the forces shaping interindividual interactions as well as interspecies interactions as affected by bottom-up factors ( food and water), top-down factors (predation and diseases) , and side-ways factors (completion fir resources and mutualism) , among the community of herbivorous in central Kenya.

NOTE:

The full documentation of the proposed activities is available during working hours at national environmental authority (NEMA) headquarters, popo road, off Mombasa road, P.O. BOX 67839-00200 Nairobi, Tel 020-2183718. Email: dgnema@nema.go.ke Web : www.nema.go.ke

Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu

Director General

National Environment Management Authority 

 

Access permit: Collection of Ticks

INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS
Pursuant to legal notice No. 160 of the Environmental Management and Coordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) Regulations, 2006 the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received application for access permit for the following
DR. SHARON MARGARET OKANGA
DEPARTMENT OF ENTOMOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS URBANA-CHAMPAIGN, Urbana, IL 61801, United States.
Activity: Collection of Ticks (Rhipicephalus pulchellus, Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, Rhipicephalus evertsi, and other Rhipicephalus, Hyalomma and Amblyomma spp…) for species identification and analysis of tick-borne diseases. The samples will be collected from Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia County and will be exported to department of entomology, university of Illinois for further analysis. The findings of the research will solely be used for academic and educational purposes in informing the relevant stakeholders and communities on tick densities and tick-borne diseases management.
NOTE:
The full documentation of the proposed activities is available during working hours at the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) Headquarters, Popo road, off Mombasa road, P.O.BOX 67839-00200, Nairobi, Tel. No. 020-2183718, and Email: dgnema@nema.go.ke. Website: www.nema.go.ke
The authority is therefore inviting the public to submit oral or written comments within 21 days from the date of publication of the notice to the Director General to assist the Authority in the determination of the application.
Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu, Director General, National Environment Management Authority

Reviewd ABS regulations for comments

Dear Colleagues,

Our EMCA Regulations on Biodiversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing have been under review over the past 1 year and we have subjected the same to external stakeholders.

We have now reduced the revised document into the attached legislative draft and wish to seek your further comments on the substance of the Regulation.

Kindly find time to peruse/study the draft inclusive of the schedules and render your summarized and itemized input to the undersigned. Due to the flurry of group staff mails received on email, I will appreciate a written memorandum in hard copy preferably in the next 7 days.

Go to downloads to get the ABS CONSULTANCY REPORT

Regards,

Erastus K GITONGA
Principal Legal Officer
NEMA- KENYA
0733-589650

Access permit:Collection of plant food materials eaten by the Tana River Mangabey

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC
THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND CO-ORDINATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2015
INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS
Pursuant to legal notice No. 160 of the Environmental Management and Coordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) Regulations, 2006 the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received application for access permit for the following:
1. Applicant: Mr. Stanislaus Mulu Kivai
Address: P.O. Box 24481 – 00502 Nairobi
Rutgers University, New York, USA
Activity: Collection of plant food materials (fruits and leaves) eaten by the Tana River Mangabey (Cercocebus galeritus) and their fecal matter samples from Tana River National Primate Reserve. The samples collected will be exported to the primate nutrition ecology laboratory at the hunter college in New York, USA for nutritional analysis. Sample collection will be through non-invasive feeding behavior observation of the Tana River Mangabey, collection of eaten plant materials samples and fecal matter. Information gathered will solely be for the academic purpose and conservation of the endangered primate species.
NOTE:
The full documentation of the proposed activities is available during working hours at the NEMA Headquarters, Popo road, off Mombasa road, P.O.BOX 67839-00200, Nairobi, Tel. No. 020-2183718, and Email: dgnema@nema.go.ke. Website: www.nema.go.ke
The authority is therefore inviting the public to submit oral or written comments within 21 days from the date of publication of the notice to the Director General to assist the Authority in the determination of the application.
PROF. GEOFFREY WAHUNGU,
Director General,
National Environment Management Authority.

Access permit:Collection of wood- and leaf-litter dwelling fungi samples

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC
THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND CO-ORDINATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2015
INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS
Pursuant to legal notice No. 160 of the Environmental Management and Coordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) Regulations, 2006 the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received application for access permit for the following:
1. Applicant: Ms Virginia Kimani Wambui
Address: 30650 00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Kenya Industrial Research and Development Institute (KIRDI)
Activity: Collection of wood- and leaf-litter dwelling fungi samples from tropical natural forests in Kenyan Forests (Arabuko Sokoke, Kakamega, Mau and Aberdare forests). The samples collected will be for isolation and purification as well as biochemical and molecular characterization of novel lignin-modifying enzymes (LMEs) from the fungi. Initial identification and enzyme screening of fungal isolates will be done at KIRDI while enzyme identification and production and molecular characterization of isolates will take place at TU Dresden International Graduate School Zittau in Germany. The expected research results will improve the understanding of the complex processes of lignocellulose turnover and give new insight into a fascinating group of fungal organisms and their role as key decomposers in tropical forest ecosystem.
NOTE:
The full documentation of the proposed activities is available during working hours at the NEMA Headquarters, Popo road, off Mombasa road, P.O.BOX 67839-00200, Nairobi, Tel. No. 020-2183718, and Email: dgnema@nema.go.ke. Website: www.nema.go.ke
The authority is therefore inviting the public to submit oral or written comments within 21 days from the date of publication of the notice to the Director General to assist the Authority in the determination of the application.
PROF. GEOFFREY WAHUNGU,
Director General,
National Environment Management Authority.

ABS access permit-Microbial ecology on glacier and faunal heritage ……

NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC
THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND CO-ORDINATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2015
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY
INVITATION FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS
Pursuant to legal notice No. 160 of the Environmental Management and Coordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) Regulations, 2006 the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has received application for access permit for the following
1. Applicant: Research Organization of Information And Systems
Address: 2F 4-3-13 Toranomon, Minatoku, Tokyo 105-0001
Activity: The applicant in partnership Kenya wildlife Service and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology intent to carry out a research on Microbial ecology on glacier and its effect to glacier melting in Mt. Kenya. The research activities will involve Collection of 11250g of Glacier Sediment; 250g of Glacier Ice and 200g of Glacier Foreland soil samples. The short-term Glacier ecological monitoring study will is expected to run from September 2015to July 2017. The specific monitoring activities will be 1. Microbiological analysis, 2. Chemical and isotope analysis, 3. Radioisotope analysis, 4. Re-sampling for monitoring the glacier ecology. The snow and ice samples will be melted preserved with a 3%formalin solution in 100ml clean polythene bags. Some will be kept frozen in plastic bags for algal species identification. All samples will be exported to a laboratory at the National institute of polar research where microorganisms will be observed and counted under Microscopy (IX81;Olympus) and measurements of the total carbon and nitrogen weight will be taken by NC analyzer and carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes by EA-IRMS (Delta V Advantage: Thermo Fisher Scientific). Bacterial and archeal 16S Rrna gene and eukaryotic 18S Rrna gene sequenced by both sanger sequencer (3130×1 Genetic Analyzer; Life technologies) after PCR-cloning and barcoded amplification sequencing (Mi-seq: Illumina) Microorganisms will be isolated from glacier and ribosomal RNA gene amplified by PR and sequences will be analyzed by Sanger sequencer Nutrient concentration will be measured by Auto Analyzer II (The Technicon) and other chemical ions by ion chromatography (ICS5000:Dionex) 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd ratios of minerals will then be determined with a TRITON thermal ionization mass spectrometer (Thermo Fisher Scientific K.K.). Photosynthetic characteristics of phototrophic organisms will be measured using a PAM chlorophyll fluorometer (Water-PAM, Waltz) Spectoral reflectance in the visible to near-infrared wave-length range (350-1050nm) will be measured on the glacial surface with a portable spectroradiometer (MS-720, Eiko Seiki, Japan). The information from the analysis will help to understand glacial ecosystem on glacier and its future conservation.

1. Applicant: Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Address: 32 Jiaochang Donglu, Kunming, Yunnan Province, P.R. China
Activity: A China-Kenya Collaboration on Zoological Research and capacity building for Sustainability of Kenya’s faunal heritage at five selected sites : Mt Kenya Ecosystem; Lake Victoria Basin; Shimba Hills; Chyulu Hills v Loita Hills / Nguruman Escarpments and Lake Turkana. The project will be implemented jointly in partnership of the three institutions: Kunming Institute of Zoology (China), Kenya Wildlife Service and National Museums of Kenya for the period starting September 2015 to September 2020. Samples collected in the course of this research will be used solely for academic and research purposes and not for any commercial gain. No more than 10 individuals per species per locality will be lethally sampled. Lethal sampling will only be performed on small animals like invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and small mammal species of NO conservation concern of less than 3 kg where need for further off site research may arise. Any sampling of large animals will be done non-invasively through collection of feces, hair or photography. Diverse methods will be used including standard field sampling techniques for various faunal groups, standard morphological and genomic DNA procedures will be used to resolve taxonomic and phylogenetic species complexes. Research equipment will be purchased to support the field surveys and laboratories research in Kenya. Efforts will be put in place to involve local communities in study sites and where possible their indigenous knowledge will be safeguarded. The capacity building component will enhance skills for Kenyan and Chinese participants through technical skills training, MSc. PhD, post docs and scientific exchange visits. This research and capacity building will assist to identify, document and conserve Kenya’s Zoological Heritage.
NOTE:
The full documentation of the proposed activities is available during working hours at the NEMA Headquarters, Popo road, off Mombasa road, P.O.BOX 67839-00200, Nairobi, Tel. No. 020-2183718, and Email: dgnema@nema.go.ke. Website: www.nema.go.ke
The authority is therefore inviting the public to submit oral or written comments within 21 days from the date of publication of the notice to the Director General to assist the Authority in the determination of the application.
PROF. GEOFFREY WAHUNGU,
Director General,
National Environment Management Authority.