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Workshop:

National ABS Workshop for Kenya

12-13 February 2009, Nairobi, Kenya

This workshop was initiated to share Kenya-relevant experiences in implementing national ABS regulations, identify implementation challenges and to suggest solutions.
In December 2006 the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources announced the Environmental Management and Coordination (Conservation of Biological Diversity and Resources, Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing) Regulations. They outline the requirements for a permit to access genetic resources and the duty of permit holders to share benefits.

For a detailed analysis of the ABS regulations see the Kenya chapter of the ABS Compendium.

Also in 2006, an assessment of capacity building needs for Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing Mechanisms was undertaken as part of the GEF project "Assessment of capacity-building needs and country-specific priorities in the conservation of biological diversity". This workshop addressed the following identified gaps:

  • Development/strengthening of the institutional framework (several institutions are involved in ABS related activities)
  • Development and strengthening the capacity of institutions to regulate ABS activities
  • Preparation of supporting manuals, guidelines and procedures
  • Establishment of a monitoring system
  • Sensitization of enforcement agencies
  • Public awareness.

The ABS regulations contributed towards defining roles and responsibilities of the various national actors involved in the ABS processes. However, a number of on-going national processes have a direct bearing on the implementation of the Kenyan ABS regulations. These processes include

  • Implementation of the report following work of the Taskforce on the Development of Laws for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Folklore (see Kenya Gazette Notice No. 1415 dated 3rd March 2006 for members and terms of reference);
  • The drafting of a National Policy on Traditional Medicines and Medicinal Plants under the Ministry of Planning and the National Council for Population and Development (the final policy is available as WIPO information document WIPO/GRTKF/IC/16/INF/25);
  • The improvement of the Traditional Health Practitioners Bill, 2002;
  • Domestication of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture through regulations currently being drafted.

Furthermore, at the institutional level some state agencies have started formulating their own bioprospecting policies.

This event was hosted by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and icipe - African Insect Science for Food and Health. It was organised by the ABS Capacity Development Initiative for Africa in partnership with the Research Centre for European Environmental Law (FEU) of the University of Bremen.