Biodiversity million rely on wildlife and 200million rely on

Biodiversity
is a vital concept in our common heritage. Any environment that has a rich
bodiversity, provide a platform for a greater and various opportunities of the
community people that depend on the biological resources for their livelihoods
(Swiderska et al, 2008). According to studies carried out by the Millennium Ecosystem
Assessment in 2005,  explained that  on the global scale, roughly 1.6 billion of
people rely and depend on the forest products, 
150 million  rely on wildlife and
200million  rely on fishing. When there
is biodiversity loss, the impacts are felt upon by all. However, it should be
pinpointed that the impact is directly and heavily on the poor  as the directly depend on biodiversity for
the survival (Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD),
2010.

Biodiversity
as we know is a concept that cut across the variety of life on earth that
includes all levels of living organisms in the ecosystems. Several definitions has
be put forward to explained the concept of biodiversity.  According to Delong 1996 as reviewed by  Natasha de Vere in 2008 publication, 85
definitions have been advanced to explained the meaning of biodiversity.  Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is
the most used definition to explain the importance of biodiversity. Biodiversity
is  defined as the differences among
living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other
aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this
includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystem ( Convention
on Biological Diversity, 1992).

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Based on Alexander 2016, Multilateral
Environmental Agreement was adopted since 1972 by United Nations
Conference of the Human Environment (UNCHE). It is a legally binding instrument
between two or more nation states that deals with some aspect of the
environment; they play a critical role in the overall framework of
environmental laws and conventions. Beside the fact that MEA complement
national legislation and bilateral or regional agreements, its form  the overarching international legal basis for
global efforts to address particular environmental issues. For the past thirty
years, there has been a rapid development of MEAs  and as of today, over 200 MEA´s are  already existing. Conference of the Parties
(COP), represents the primary decision making body for a given MEA.

Some
parts of environmental agreements make emphasis on particular subjects. For
instance the biodiversity related multilateral environmental agreements (Convention
on Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, Convention on the Convervation  of  Migratory
Species of Wild Animals, Convention concerning the Protection of the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources
for Food and Agriculture and International Plant Protection Convention and the
Chemicals related multilateral environmental agreements (Based on Convention on
the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal,
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain
Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and Stockholm
Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants) (UNEP, 2006). Others are outcomes
of International  conferences such as the
Rio Conventions (Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change, United 
Nations Convention to Combat Desertification). Still others, such
as  the Regional Seas Conventions and
Action Plans, deal with specific regions (UNEP, 2006).

It
should be noted that, biodiversity  today
is decreasing at an unprecedented rate across the world. This has called for
much increasingly attentions by governments, institutions and Non- Governmental
Organisations ( NGO´s) to have concern for 
the natural environment and to conserve the biodiversity nature. According
to Rockströmet  et al, 2009 species
extinction rate is approximately over 10,000 times higher basically because of anthropogenic
activities that interfers the natural endowment. This is particularly the case
of Kenya, East of Africa where the study is focus. In Kenya, the challenges
raises the concern and need for a global policy intervention in the existing of
the biodiversity related Multilateral Environmetal Agreements (MEAs) at both
the international and local levels. It should be highlighted that, even though
most countries across the globe are working towards the conservation of species
and ecosystem, by acknowledging and being a signatory to international treaties
and conventions such as MEAs, the results are still not yet very progressive
(UNEP, 2010.  MEA impacts are still
predicted to trickle down to national and local 
levels in form of national legislations at institutional and community
awareness and benefits (Leff, 1995).

Kenya
happens to have been a signatory of a total of 10 MEAs which are all ratified
based on GEF &UNDP, 2007. The country´s goal is for the improvement of MEAs
implementation capacity in order to boost national economic growth and
eradicate poverty while contributing towards the country and global ecosystem
integrity. The subsequent discussions will vividly elaborate and substantiate
how the Kenya authority has been able to implement the biodiversity related
multilateral environment agreement in Kenya as a model as ratified.

1.1    Integration
of  Biodiversity means in National
Policies of Kenya.

Integrate
biodiversity MEAs in national management 
requires to address relevant 
obligations in national policies and legal framework which are all based
on the three pillars of sustainable development that focus on environmental
protection, social development and economic growth.  Kenya is an exemplinary case of country that
is pursue good measures in order to integrate biodiversity MEAs in its national
policies. The Kenya biodiversity policies can be listed below;

 

ü Sessional
Paper No. 6 on Environment and Development (GoK, 1999)

ü Draft
National Fisheries Policy (GoK, 2005)

ü National
Tourism Policy (GoK, 2007)

ü Draft Integrated
Coastal Zone ManagementPolicy (GoK, 2007)

ü National
Oceans and Fisheries Policy (GoK, 2008)

ü National
Land Policy (GoK, 2009)

ü National
Policy for Disaster Management (GoK, 2009)

ü National
Policy on Culture and Heritage(GoK, 2009)

ü The
Constitution of Kenya (GoK, 2010)

ü National
Water Policy (GoK, 2012)

ü National
Wildlife Conservation and Management Policy (GoK, 2012)

ü National
Policy for the Sustainable Development for Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands
(GoK, 2012)

ü Draft
Natural Resources Development and Management Policy (GoK, 2012)

ü Draft Environment
Policy (GoK, 2013)

ü National
Forest Policy (GoK, 2014)

ü National
Wetlands Conservation and Management Policy (GoK, 2015)

The above listed categories, indicates how Kenya
integrated MEA  through domestication in
national biodiversity policies.

 

1.2    MEAs Obligation Integration and
Implementation Analysis.

This portion, will highligh the ways the Kenya
Government has been able to implement biodiversity related multilateral
environmental agreement as a nation that has ratified such a convention. It is
significant to know that, even though much of the obligations are not well
satisfied as regard implementation, the country still remain a good model
assumed the time the country signed the convention and what it has done
compared to other nation like South Africa as examined below

 

1.2.1 Integration
and implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD):

 

The CBD policy analysis involved the scrutiny of 16
policies to establish how many obligations were adequately integrated. The
Wildlife Policy (GoK, 2012f) and Sessional Paper on Environment and Development
(GoK, 1999b) had integrated all the 17 obligations and therefore have a 100%
integration level. The National Water Policy (GoK, 2012g) featured in only 5
obligations and therefore considered to have 29.4% integration level (Shah,
2014).

A Reviewed equally indicated that, 12 policies  had achieved the average category of 50%,
which is very good. This demonstrated that Kenya on the overall is above
average in addressing biodiversity issues. However, this is not enough to give
the real picture on the ground in terms of domestication. Policy on CBD analysis
reviewed that out of the 16 policies, the Constitution of Kenya (GoK, 2010)
scored the highest level of policy prescription integration at a mean score of
49.4% while the lowest was the 81 National Policy on Culture and Heritage (GoK,2009c)
with 13%. More so, in a policy analysis in terms of integration of MEA
obligation, indicated that obligation 1 that focus on conservation, sustainable
use and equitable sharing of biodiversity has the greatest 82 integration
level(100%) with obligation 12 that focus on implementation of COP decisions
having the least integration level of 0.3% (Shah, 2014).

In a nutshell, despite the commitment of the Kenya
constitution as regard CBD domestigation, is reviewed to be weak as none of the
existing national biodiversity oriented policies has achieved the integration
status of 50% in terms of policy direction for MEA obligations as the average
status of CBD related policies amounted to just 20.9% (Shah,
2014).

 

 

1.2.2 Integration and implementation of the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).

According to Shah, 2014, looking at
the CITES policy analysis  that involved
the scrutiny of 9 national biodiversity-related policies in Kenya. The Wildlife
Policy (GoK, 2012f) had integrated 8 obligations  that constitute 80% integration level while
the National Land Policy (GoK, 2009b) has integrated only 2 obligations summed
to 20% integration level. Based on reviewed 
explained the integration status indicated that there were no policies
in the category of 90-100%. This there 
reflect that the integration status of the policies is quite weak. A
conclusive nature of CITES obligation integration in national policies
indicated that out of the 9 policies, the Draft ICZM Policy(GoK,2007a) is
having the highest level of policy prescription integration with a mean score of
42.5% while the lowest is the Draft Fisheries Policy (2005a) with only 13.3%,indicating
an 86.7% integration gap (Shah, 2014).

 

1.2.3 Integration and implementation of the Convention
on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS):

The CMS policy analysis involved the scrutiny of 8 national
policies. The Wildlife Policy (GoK, 2012f) and the Draft Environment Policy (GoK,
2013a) have integrated all the  10CMS obligations
(100% integration level). However the Draft Natural Resources Development and Management
Policy (GoK, 2012c) has only integrated1obligation (10% integration level).
Study concluded that CMS in Kenya indicated that only 2national policies have
been integration status of 90-100% where as 1policy has the  lowest integration status of 39% and below. The
results reflected that the integration status of the policies is average(Shah,
2014).

 

 

 

 

1.2.4 Integration and implementation of the Ramsar
Convention:

This  policy
analysis composed the scrutiny of 5 national policies  for which the National Wetlands Conservation
and Management Policy (GoK,2015) was found to integrate all the 10 obligations (100%
integration level) while the National Constitution of Kenya (GoK,2010) has only
considered 3 obligations (30%integration level) as explained by Shah,
2014. The
researcher reviewed that in general, the integration policies is fairly
avaerage. More so, study reviewed that the National Wetlands Conservation and
Management Policy(GoK, 2015) is fairly as regards the general spirit for the
Ramsar Convention. Looking at Ramsar Convention obligation integration at the  national policies indicated that out of the 5
policies, the Sessional Paper No.6(GoK, 1999b) experience the highest level of
policy which a mean score of 20%.However, with the expectation of the Ramsar
Convention, demonstrate that National Wetlands Conservation and Management
policy(GoK2015), should be a outstanding  policy with the highest, this is contrary to
what prevailed in Kenya where it is low at a rate of 16.9% (Shah,
2014).

To demonstrate policy analysis in terms of MEA
obligation, reviewed that  obligation 2
that talks on conservation, wise use and management of wetlands and migratory waterfowls
have to have the highest integration status of 100% contary to obligation 1
that focus on designation of wetlands for inclusion in the list of wetlands of
international significant that have the lowest integration status of 0.78% (Shah,
2014).The low rate
of obligation 1 should not be misintepreted as if Kenya is not doing well on it
in terms of designating Ramsar sites because this will certaily not be true
when compared Kenya with countries like South Africa that ratified the Ramsar
Convention in 1975 but yet has 22 sites covering 555,678 hectares  and Ghana that ratified the convention since
1988 but yet, has 6 sites which are only 176,132 hectares in total mean while,
Kenya that ratified in 1990 has 6 sites which are 265,449 heactares in size. In
a deeper look into the domestication of the Ramsar Convention in Kenya, it
predicted that Kenya is weak due to ist 18.8% average integration level in
terms of achieving MEA obligations. With this, one can assume that Kenya´s wetlands
may not be sustainable (Shah, 2014).

1.2.5 Integration and Implementation of the World
Heritage Convention (WHC) Policy:

With this policy analysis involved the scrutiny of 7
national policies that are integrated in the 9 obligations. Here, 7 obligation
integration was recorded as the highest in the National Policy on Culture and
Heritage (GoK,2009c), the Wildlife Policy ( GoK, 2012f) and the National
Wetlands Conservation and Management Policy ( GoK,2015) has an integrated
status of 77.8%. The Forest Policy (GoK, 2014) 
domestigated 1obligation that reviewed 11.1%. Based on WHC obligation
integration in national policies predicted that out of the 7 policies , the
National Policy on Culture and Heritage (GoK,2009c) at 25.9% and the Forest
Policy (GoK,2014) having just 11.1%(Shah, 2014).

 

1.3    Conclusion

From the
above analysis, it could be stated that the five MEAs are not well integrated
in the national biodiversity policies of Kenya as the policy status ranges
between 18 to 25% . As regards CITES is integration status is 24.8%. This
subsequently follow by CBD at a rate of 20.9%. CMS, WHC has an integration
status of 19.1% each while the Ramsar Convention is having 18.8%. It should
equally be denoted that CBD´s obligation 1(Article1) on conservation, sustainable
use and equitable sharing of biodiversity had the best integration level at
100% among all policies. As regards CITES, only obligation 2(Article3) on trade
regulation in endangered species and obligation 10( Article 13) on
international cooperation had above average of 50%  because trade regulation and cooperation on
protection of endangered species has been taking place long before the CITES
came into force. On CMS obligations, reviewed an average integration status 50%.
This explains that the Ramsar Convention obligation 2 (Article 1.6) on
conservation, wise use and management of wetlands are all implemented in all
policies as compared to WHC obligations 1(Article 4) on identifying, protecting
and conserving natural heritage is reflected in all the policies.

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