NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya plans to reform its laws in order to
enhance biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization of
national resources, a government official said on Tuesday.
Keriako Tobiko, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Environment,
said in a statement published in the Daily Nation that the country’s
efforts to conserve biodiversity have not matched increasing
evidence of biodiversity loss.
The Ministry of Environment has formulated and reviewed laws and
regulations to implement the provisions of the constitution as well
as the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Tobiko
"The new legislative frameworks are geared to enhance
biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization of our
national resources," Tobiko said in remarks marking the
International Day for Biological Diversity.
He said the day is important to international, regional, national
and local communities, as it creates public awareness on the link
between biodiversity and sustainable development.
"It therefore provides an opportunity for Kenya to communicate to
the world the importance of biodiversity, its conservation and
sustainable use of its components, and the equitable sharing of
benefits by the uses of genetic resources," Tobiko said.
He said the key challenges impeding Kenya’s progress in
sustainable use of biodiversity includes poaching, illegal trade in
wildlife and timber products, human-wildlife conflicts, encroachment
of habitats, pollution, as well as poor disposal of waste.
According to the ministry of environment, Kenya is abundantly
endowed with biodiversity, and this has direct and indirect benefits
to livelihood support systems of local communities and Kenya’s
Tobiko added that biodiversity also plays a major role in climate
change adaption through the provision of a variety of genetic
materials that can be used to develop crops that can cope with
extreme climatic conditions and mitigation through carbon
sequestration by the different ecosystems.
Charles Sunkuli, principal Secretary in the Ministry of
Environment, said Kenya has made considerable progress in
implementing the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources,
which was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention
on Biological Diversity.
Kenya signed the protocol in 2012 and ratified it in 2014.
Dorington Ogoyi, CEO of National Biosafety Authority, said that
Kenya is currently domesticating the provisions of the Cartagena
Protocol on Biosafety that is a party to the Convention on
Kenya signed the Cartagena Protocol in 2000 and ratified it in
2002, Ogoyi said.
He said Kenya’s 2009 Biosafety Act was meant to domesticate the
provisions of the Cartagena Protocol.
"The country has further developed four regulations to implement
the biosafety laws and has submitted three national reports on the
Implementation of Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Biosafety
Clearing House," Ogoyi said.
He noted that the lack of a state-of-the-art molecular laboratory
for detection and testing of genetically modified organisms poses a
challenge to the full implementation of the Cartagena Protocol.