Policy Framework for Utilization and Conservation of Below-Ground Biodiversity in Kenya

Conference paper


The reasons for the lack of inclusion of below-ground biodiversity in the Kenyan policy and legal framework were sought through a purposeful survey. Gaps were identified in the relevant sectoral policies and laws in regard to the domestication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Below-ground biodiversity had no specific schedule in any of the sectoral laws. Most sectoral laws were particular about the larger biodiversity and soils but had no specific mention of below-ground biodiversity. Material Transfer Agreements and Material Acquisition Agreements that are regarded as tools for the domestication of the CBD to guide transfers, exchanges and acquisition of soil organisms lacked a regulating policy. The lack of regulating policy could be attributed to the delay in approval of draft regulations by the Ministry of Environment while the lack of specific inclusion of below-ground biodiversity in Kenya’s legal and policy framework could be as a result of lack of awareness and appreciation among stakeholders.


Below-ground biodiversity Convention on biological diversity Material acquisition agreement Material transfer agreement Policy framework 



I wish to express my sincere appreciation to Kenyatta University and to all my supervisors: Dr. Ayub Macharia, Dr. Samuel Otor and Dr. Peter Okoth for their guidance, advice, patience, moral, and professional support during the entire study period. My appreciation also goes to Ms. Ritu Verma of TSBF-CIAT who advised me on various aspects of social science that were relevant to my research; Prof. Albert Mumma of the University of Nairobi, for his advice regarding environmental policy issues. Special thanks go to the Below-Ground Biodiversity (BGBD) project’s global coordinator Dr. Jeroen Huising for providing me with financial support to undertake part of my research. Much gratitude goes to the African Network in Agroforestry Education (ANAFE) for providing me with a grant to undertake my research work.

Many thanks go to all the farmers, research scientists, and employees of institutions that were interviewed for their collaboration and willingness to give information. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work undertaken by my research assistants in Embu: Rachel Ireri, Munyi, Njoka, and Muchangi. They worked tirelessly in translating the questionnaires to the farmers as well as interviewing them. To the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) library staff for their assistance in providing me with relevant research material and reading space. Special thanks go to Ms. Jacinta Kimwaki, the ICRAF chief librarian for her good coordination. Lastly, much gratitude to my classmates Naomi Njeri, Salome Muriuki, Mukera, Kahunyo, Weru, and Felista Muriu for their moral support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceKenyatta UniversityNairobiKenya
  2. 2.School of Environmental Studies and Human SciencesKenyatta UniversityNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute of the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (TSBF-CIAT)GigiriKenya
  4. 4.Department of Environmental ScienceSchool of Environmental Studies and Human Sciences, Kenyatta UniversityNairobiKenya

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