Policy instruments supporting biodiversity and ecosystem services across sectors in Kenya
A number of policy initiatives that could serve as entry points for effective conservation,
sustainable use and development of biodiversity in Kenya are already in place.
The National Constitution of Kenya (Article 69) mandates a number of specific measures
that are directly relevant to biodiversity conservation, including the requirement to maintain
tree cover of at least 10 percent of the national land area and the requirement to preserve
communities’ traditional knowledge of biodiversity and genetic resources.
In broad policies
The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (1999) mandates the establishment of an
appropriate legal and institutional framework for the management of the environment and related
matters. It establishes appropriate legal and institutional mechanisms for the management of
the environment, recognizing that this constitutes the foundation of national economic, social,
cultural and spiritual advancement.
The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act (2013) has, as one of its guiding principles,
the devolution of conservation and management of wildlife to landowners and managers in areas
where wildlife occurs. It recognizes wildlife conservation as a form of land use, pursues better
access to benefits from wildlife conservation and adherence to the principles of sustainable use,
and establishes harsh penalties for poachers, among other provisions.
The Heritage Act (2006) consolidates the law relating to national museums and heritage, to
provide for the establishment, control, management and development of national museums on
transmission of the cultural and natural heritage of Kenya.
Other policy initiatives that are relevant to target biodiversity conservation efforts include,
» the Land Act (2012), which focuses on conservation and protection of ecologically sensitive
areas such as riparian reserves (defined as land adjacent to the ocean, lake, sea, dams and
watercourses) and sustainable and productive management of land resources;
» the Water Act (2002), which regulates the use and control of and rights over water resources;
» the Forest Act (2005), which provides for the establishment, development and sustainable
management (including conservation and rational use) of forest resources for the
socioeconomic development of the country.
In sectoral policies
The Agriculture Act (revised in 2012) does not mention biodiversity specifically but mandates
that, in order to target the preservation of soil and its fertility, the Minister may issue Land
Preservation Rules or Orders, as well as general schemes for land preservation and development.