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Kenya launches sh10 billion national Bio-prospecting strategy
Date Published: 03 Nov, 2011
Hon. Mutula Kilonzo, Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs (second left), Mr. M.A. Wa Mwachai PS Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife(Left), Dr. John Kilama Chair, IOCD Bio-Exploratory Fund and Mr. Julius Kipng’etich Pause with the newly launched Bioprospecting Strategy at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi
Kenya has launched a Sh10 billion national bio-prospecting strategy for within and outside protected areas
The strategy, spearheaded by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), will provide structures and systems to effectively and efficiently manage and regulate bio-prospecting activities in Kenya.
The strategy will seek to tap the huge market of bio-prospecting and generate wealth and knowledge for the country.
Bio-prospecting is recognised as a potential avenue for wealth creation and income generation, incentive for conservation and environmental protection and accelerated sustainable development.
An estimated 80 per cent of Kenya’s population depends on biodiversity and is one our nation’s capital sources and national development. At global level biodiversity has been estimated to contribute about USD 33 trillion annually.
The launch makes Kenya among the first countries in the world to have a bio-prospecting roadmap after the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing.
The strategy will be implemented through enhancing institutional capacity and review of the statutory and regulatory framework for bio-prospecting and also developing a system of bio-informatics and benefit sharing.
Others include enhancing of information access and developing a communication system as well as the development of a financial and resource mobilisation mechanism for bio-prospecting.
In a statement read on his behalf by the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Mutula Kilonzo, the Minister of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030, Hon. Wycliffe Oparanya said implementation of the strategy will contribute to the achievement of the Vision 2030 development blueprint, through improved management of biodiversity that enhances the economic wellbeing of the Kenyan people.
Hon. Oparanya stressed on the need for the country to have a common vision on biodiversity management.
“Management of Kenya’s biodiversity is vested in various agencies which lead to overlaps and competition on limited resources. All these need to be realigned with the new constitution to avoid duplication and overlaps while also taking into consideration the emerging issues of global concern,” he added.
Hon. Kilonzo, however, cautioned all stakeholders involved to remain vigilant in the implementation of the strategy.
“Pursuing bio-prospecting without proper knowledge and lack of prior consent of the owners of the resources and without sharing benefits accrued from them will give rise to ‘bio-piracy,’ Hon Kilonzo said.
Within the Kenyan protected areas, biodiversity loss continues unabated due to scientific, technical, technological and financial barriers that have led to increased bio-piracy.
The country continues to lose valuable biological and genetic materials, some of which have been collected and deposited in local and foreign depository centres without the appropriate framework for monitoring, enforcement and compliance.
Many of these biological materials have been used to develop products that are commercialised and are generating enormous profits in foreign countries.
The launch also saw an expert dialogue workshop for effective biodiversity laws that attract investments for economic growth.