Strategic Goal D:Target 16: By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in force

Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services

Target 16: By 2015, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization is in force and operational, consistent with national legislation


Environmental Management and Co-ordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) Regulations 2006 Legal Notice 160 of 2006, presents the most comprehensive attempt by the government to date to put in place a regulatory framework for access to genetic resources and benefitsharing

Kenya ratified the Nagoya Protocol on 7th April, 2014. The Nagoya Protocol is part of Kenyan law as per the constitution which states that every international agreement Kenya is a signatory to is law. The Traditional knowledge and Culture expression Act of 2016 was enacted. Further, the Environment Management and Coordination Act, EMCA 1999 was amended in 2015 with mainstream provisions related to access and benefit sharing of genetic resources in line with the Nagoya Protocol.

Other relevant legal and policy instruments include:

  • The Science, Technology and Innovation Act 2013 recognizes traditional and indigenous knowledge as part of innovations.
  • National Museums and Heritage act

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is the focal point organization and NEMA is the competent National Authority, Clearing-House and publishing authority for access and benefits sharing. The designated check-points are: Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS), NACOSTI, State Department of Immigration and Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI). No person shall transfer any genetic resources outside Kenya unless such person has executed a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). Regulation 19 requires that benefit sharing shall apply, subject to the laws in force relating to intellectual property rights. In Kenya, institutions responsible for intellectual property rights include the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and the Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO).

Since ratification, the Government has issued one hundred and thirty (130) access permits for research and development.

Kenya is in the process of preparing regulations for conservation on biodiversity, access to genetic resources and benefit sharing to be aligned with the provisions of the Protocol.

The Government has established  an Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Committee that reviews and determines the approval of applications for research and development related to utilization of biological resources. It has also initiated capacity building and awareness programmes in the counties for enhanced sharing of benefits arising from utilization of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge.

Challenges faced in the implementation of the Protocol are; low awareness and inadequate capacity at both national and county levels, inadequate legislation to domesticate the Convention and harmonization of the benefit sharing regulations with the provisions of the Convention.

Cartagena Protocol

. Kenya signed the Protocol in the year 2000 and ratified it in 2013 and has established  Competent Authorities (National Bio Safety Authority) which act as the National Focal Point for the Protocol and serve as the Biosafety Clearing House (BCH) for the purpose of providing international linkages and exchanges of information. Member states are also obliged to pay an annual subscription fee determined during Conventions of the CBD.

The Protocol obliges member states to

The Government has also put in place the Whistle Blowing Policy which aims at providing an avenue for employees, stakeholders and customers to raise concerns and reassurance that they will be protected from reprisals or victimization.

  1. Nagoya protocol is part of Kenyan law as per the constitution which states that every international agreement Kenya is a signatory to is law. Article 2 Section 6 Kenya signed in 01/02/2012 and Ratified in 7th April 2014
  2. ST&I Science Technology and Innovation Act 2013- Recognizes traditional and indigenous knowledge as part of innovations
  3. Enactment of Traditional knowledge and Culture expression Act of 2016.
  4. Ministry of Culture established a taskforce to create the implementation roadmap-Ongoing.
  5. Reviewed EMCA Act,2015 takes cognizance of the Access and Benefit Sharing mechanism for communities that conserve biomaterials and owners of Traditional knowledge.
  6. National Museums and Heritage act
  7. Kenya’s access and benefit sharing toolkit for genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge-2014 to train in PIC, MAT, MTA

List of Actions.

  1. The Country has a robust CHM for biodiversity . The platform is used to exchange information for both users and providers
  2. Enactment of Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016,
  3. Review of the Environmental Management and Coordination Act 2015
  4.  National Forest Programme (2016-2030); has helped to increase areas under conservation; efforts towards achieving the national 10% forest cover integrated land use planning; provide the forest sector with strong instruments for implementing sustainable management and conservation efforts; devolving and mainstreaming forestry functions into county government planning; and engaging communities and stakeholders in the sustainable management of public forests.
  5. Draft Natural Resource Bill, 2016,
  6. Busia County Biodiversity Policy
  7. Development of an ABS Toolkit for both providers and users of genetic resource in the country
  8. Templates for PIC and MAT, that regulates ABS
  9. Online monitoring permitting system for ABS permits
  10. Draft ABS Law- to address the ABS matters that is in 16 different sectors to be enacted into National Action Plans
  11. The country submitted their interim report on the implementation of Nagoya Protocol on 1st November, 2018.