Implementation of the Convention

The 1st National Biodiversity and Action Plan NBSAP was adopted in 2000 as a framework to implementation of the convention in the country.
A number of policies and institutions exist in Kenya to support NBSAP implementation. One example is the Forestry Master Plan (1995-2020) which contains various implementation strategies that target the conservation of indigenous forests and their biodiversity; particular attention is given to habitats of high biodiversity and endemism and priority areas for conservation, including wetlands (especially seasonal wetlands), forests, highland grasslands and natural areas near large urban areas. The Forest Act (revised in 2005) addresses reservation, protection, management, enforcement and utilization of forests and forest resources on Government land. Other pieces of applicable legislation include the Water Act, Fisheries Act, Government Fisheries Protection Act, as well as the Intellectual Properties Rights Act that recognizes local knowledge and the rights of communities to genetic resources and to benefits derived from tourism in their areas.
Although a strategic plan has been established for mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into the education sector, there is a lack of biodiversity mainstreaming in other sectors. Furthermore, many development programs are in conflict with desired biodiversity conservation activities. Also, although several ministries have environment in their portfolio, awareness of what each ministry is doing and how synergies can be achieved, remain a challenge due a lack of horizontal cooperation and ineffective partnerships among stakeholders. Moreover, many ongoing programs hardly engage the scientific community.

The country has developed environmental and biodiversity-related laws, policies and instructional frameworks. Present national environment management matters cut across various agencies, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is charged with the coordination and establishment of an appropriate legal and institutional framework for the management and conservation of biological diversity. Many of the laws are now being reviewed to conform to the new constitution.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Mr. Richard L. Lesiyampe
CBD Primary NFP

Mr. Parkinson M. Ndonye
CBD Secondary NFP
Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu

Mr. Samuel Mutuku Kasiki
Protected Areas NFP

Dr. Beatrice Nangami Khayota

Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
Prof. Dorington Ogoyi
Willy K. Tonui
Cartagena Protocol Primary NFP

Implementation of the NBSAP

Completed in 1999, the goals of Kenya’s NBSAP are: to ensure and maintain a high quality environment for sustainable livelihoods for all Kenyans; to guarantee inter- and intra-generational sustainable use of natural resources and services; to maintain ecological and ecosystem processes; to preserve and benefit from genetic resources and biological diversity in the nation’s ecosystems and to preserve their cultural value. However, there is inadequate political will and financial support to implement the NBSAP which is moreover currently outdated. Thus ecological degradation continues in many biodiversity-rich ecosystems in Kenya except where there are clear political gains (as in the case of the Mau Forest).
The process of revising the NBSAP is underway spearheaded by the ministry of Environment and Natural resources. Kenya intends to address the issue of national target-setting through national consultations and create awareness of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
Actions taken to achieve the 2020 Aichi Biodiversity Targets
There are good efforts being taken by the Kenyan Government, through the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), to conduct research on marine and coastal ecosystems to provide the necessary data for implementing conservation programs for this rich biodiversity. The KMFRI has mapped out the commercial fishing grounds in the national sector. At the moment, pilot studies and demonstrations are being conducted on better methods to culture oysters and the Brine shrimp (Artemia) at the Kenyan coast to enhance economic gains, rather than re-stock the coastal waters with such species. However, in spite of the collaboration that exists among the KMFRI, University of Brussels, Coast Development Authority and some local NGOs, little progress has been made in this venture. The KMFRI has however made great strides towards understanding the causes of the massive fish kills that occur in Lake Victoria and establishing the status of rare and endangered fish species; they have also been cultured and released into Lake Victoria with the aim to restore the lake’s biodiversity. Also, recent findings of the KMFRI reveal that the fish stocks of Lake Baringo show both a suitable and profitable fishery, through a combination of closed and open fishing seasons which is a result of the lake being located in an arid zone. However, in Lake Naivasha and Lake Victoria, there is increasing pressure on fish resources, due to overfishing and increasing pollution loading, hence the continued desire to promote aquaculture in the country.

Institutional framework

There are several institutions involved in conservation of biodiversity in Kenya. There are those that are involved in either in-situ and/or exsitu conservation of biodiversity. Insitutions such as Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and National Museums of Kenya (NMK) play both roles. Others involved in in-situ conservation only include Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), while those involved in ex-situ only is The
National Gene Bank of Kenya. The key players in regard to in situ conservation of indigenous forest resources are the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), although the Kenya Forest Service (KFS) is the main agency concerned with in situ conservation and management of indigenous forests.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS)
KWS is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament, Cap.376 with the mandate to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya, and to enforce related laws and regulations. The overall mandate of KWS is to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya with the following:
1. Sole jurisdiction over National Parks
2. Supervisory role in the management of both local and private National Reserves and Sanctuaries ; license
control and supervising all wildlife conservation and management; and activities outside the protected
3. Conservation education and training
4. Wildlife research
KWS manages about 8 percent of the total landmass of the country. This land contains 22 National Parks, 28
National Reserves and 5 National Sanctuaries. Under KWS management are 4 Marine National Parks and 6 Marine
National Reserves at the Coast. In addition, KWS manages 125 field stations outside protected areas (Manek, 2001). It issues licenses for game bird shooting, filming and export/re-export of wildlife and their products. It issues Prior Informed Concept PIC and Mutual Agreed Terms MAT  vital documents to get permits for access to genetic resources within the parks from NEMA .

Kenya Forest Service (KFS)
Kenya Forest Service is a State Corporation established in February 2007 under the Forest Act, 2005 to conserve, develop and sustainably manage forest resources for Kenya’s socialeconomic development. The KFS management structure comprises 10 conservancies that are ecologically demarcated, 76 zonal forest offices, 150 forest stations, and 250 divisional forest extension offices located countrywide, and critical in forest management and surveillance. Significant initiatives here have included the Kenya Forestry Master Plan, the Kenya Indigenous Forest Conservation Program and the Indigenous Forest Conservation and Management Project. KFS activities include an extension service for on-farm forestry, a number of collaborative arrangements with KWS in the management of specific areas such as the Guineo-Congolian Kakamega Forest and the Zanzibar-Inhambane Mosaic Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. KFS is also extensively supported by the work of the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI). KEFRI conducts.

National Museums of Kenya (NMK)
The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament, the National Museums and Heritage Act, 2006 No. 6. NMK is a multi-disciplinary institution whose role is to collect, preserve, study, document and present Kenya’s past and present cultural and natural heritage. This is for the purposes of enhancing knowledge, appreciation, respect and sustainable utilization of these resources for the benefit of Kenya and the world, for now and posterity. NMK has two institutes; The Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa (RISSEA) and the Institute of Primate Research (IPR). NMK issues various research permits for collection and export of antiques and monuments.

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)
The Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is a regulatory body established under the State Corporations Act (Cap. 446) pursuant to Legal Notice No. 305 of 18th October, 1996. The Corporation commenced operations in 1997. KEPHIS administers the Seed and Plant Variety Act, Cap. 326 of the Laws of Kenya which provides for protection of plant breeders’ rights. The subject matter for protection is the propagating material which is usually seeds, suckers, tubers, crafting material and other propagating materials. In addition, KEPHIS administers the Plant Protection Act (Cap. 324) and The Agricultural Produce (Export) Act (Cap. 319).

The National Gene Bank of Kenya
The Gene Bank has been operative for over ten years and has a collection of over 4,000 agriculturally related species.
There is need to broaden its mandate to include all threatened and endangered plant species
Public Universities
The public universities, principally the University of Nairobi (UoN), have played a significant role in ex-situ conservation activities. Universities on micro scale manage depositories of microbial and cell lines. Some have established botanical gardens such as Pwani university, Nairobi University, Moi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University, Egerton University and Maseno universities. These are used for exchange of biological material and also for learning purposes.

Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KEMFRI)

The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute undertake research on marine life and have a capacity for exsitu conservation.

Kenya Industrial Property Institute
The Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) was established in 2001 under the Industrial Property Act, 2001 which mandates the Institute to promote and administer industrial property rights in Kenya. The Act empowers KIPI to register patents for inventions, industrial designs and utility models certificates for minor innovations. It also allows KIPI to disseminate IP information to the public, and screen technology transfer agreements and licenses in the country. The Industrial Property Act, 2001 provides for patents in all fields of technology so long as they are new, involve an inventive step, and are industrially applicable. These include biotechnological inventions and those involving microorganisms.


Source: Institute of Economic Affairs