Biodiversityis a vital concept in our common heritage. Any environment that has a richbodiversity, provide a platform for a greater and various opportunities of thecommunity people that depend on the biological resources for their livelihoods(Swiderska et al, 2008). According to studies carried out by the Millennium EcosystemAssessment in 2005, explained that on the global scale, roughly 1.
6 billion ofpeople rely and depend on the forest products, 150 million rely on wildlife and200million rely on fishing. When thereis biodiversity loss, the impacts are felt upon by all. However, it should bepinpointed that the impact is directly and heavily on the poor as the directly depend on biodiversity forthe survival (Secretariat of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD),2010. Biodiversityas we know is a concept that cut across the variety of life on earth thatincludes all levels of living organisms in the ecosystems. Several definitions hasbe put forward to explained the concept of biodiversity. According to Delong 1996 as reviewed by Natasha de Vere in 2008 publication, 85definitions have been advanced to explained the meaning of biodiversity. Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) isthe most used definition to explain the importance of biodiversity. Biodiversityis defined as the differences amongliving organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and otheraquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; thisincludes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystem ( Conventionon Biological Diversity, 1992).
Based on Alexander 2016, MultilateralEnvironmental Agreement was adopted since 1972 by United NationsConference of the Human Environment (UNCHE). It is a legally binding instrumentbetween two or more nation states that deals with some aspect of theenvironment; they play a critical role in the overall framework ofenvironmental laws and conventions. Beside the fact that MEA complementnational legislation and bilateral or regional agreements, its form the overarching international legal basis forglobal efforts to address particular environmental issues. For the past thirtyyears, 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.
Someparts of environmental agreements make emphasis on particular subjects. Forinstance the biodiversity related multilateral environmental agreements (Conventionon Biological Diversity, Convention on International Trade in EndangeredSpecies of Wild Flora and Fauna, Convention on the Convervation of MigratorySpecies of Wild Animals, Convention concerning the Protection of the WorldCultural and Natural Heritage, International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resourcesfor Food and Agriculture and International Plant Protection Convention and theChemicals related multilateral environmental agreements (Based on Convention onthe Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal,Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for CertainHazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade and StockholmConvention on Persistent Organic Pollutants) (UNEP, 2006). Others are outcomesof International conferences such as theRio Conventions (Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations FrameworkConvention on Climate Change, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification). Still others, suchas the Regional Seas Conventions andAction Plans, deal with specific regions (UNEP, 2006).
Itshould be noted that, biodiversity todayis decreasing at an unprecedented rate across the world. This has called formuch increasingly attentions by governments, institutions and Non- GovernmentalOrganisations ( NGO´s) to have concern for the natural environment and to conserve the biodiversity nature. Accordingto Rockströmet et al, 2009 speciesextinction rate is approximately over 10,000 times higher basically because of anthropogenicactivities that interfers the natural endowment. This is particularly the caseof Kenya, East of Africa where the study is focus. In Kenya, the challengesraises the concern and need for a global policy intervention in the existing ofthe biodiversity related Multilateral Environmetal Agreements (MEAs) at boththe international and local levels.
It should be highlighted that, even thoughmost countries across the globe are working towards the conservation of speciesand ecosystem, by acknowledging and being a signatory to international treatiesand conventions such as MEAs, the results are still not yet very progressive(UNEP, 2010. MEA impacts are stillpredicted to trickle down to national and local levels in form of national legislations at institutional and communityawareness and benefits (Leff, 1995).Kenyahappens to have been a signatory of a total of 10 MEAs which are all ratifiedbased on GEF &UNDP, 2007. The country´s goal is for the improvement of MEAsimplementation capacity in order to boost national economic growth anderadicate poverty while contributing towards the country and global ecosystemintegrity. The subsequent discussions will vividly elaborate and substantiatehow the Kenya authority has been able to implement the biodiversity relatedmultilateral environment agreement in Kenya as a model as ratified.
1.1 Integrationof Biodiversity means in NationalPolicies of Kenya.Integratebiodiversity MEAs in national management requires to address relevant obligations in national policies and legal framework which are all basedon the three pillars of sustainable development that focus on environmentalprotection, social development and economic growth. Kenya is an exemplinary case of country thatis pursue good measures in order to integrate biodiversity MEAs in its nationalpolicies. The Kenya biodiversity policies can be listed below; ü SessionalPaper No. 6 on Environment and Development (GoK, 1999)ü DraftNational Fisheries Policy (GoK, 2005)ü NationalTourism Policy (GoK, 2007)ü Draft IntegratedCoastal Zone ManagementPolicy (GoK, 2007)ü NationalOceans and Fisheries Policy (GoK, 2008)ü NationalLand Policy (GoK, 2009)ü NationalPolicy for Disaster Management (GoK, 2009)ü NationalPolicy on Culture and Heritage(GoK, 2009)ü TheConstitution of Kenya (GoK, 2010)ü NationalWater Policy (GoK, 2012)ü NationalWildlife Conservation and Management Policy (GoK, 2012)ü NationalPolicy for the Sustainable Development for Northern Kenya and other Arid Lands(GoK, 2012)ü DraftNatural Resources Development and Management Policy (GoK, 2012)ü Draft EnvironmentPolicy (GoK, 2013)ü NationalForest Policy (GoK, 2014)ü NationalWetlands Conservation and Management Policy (GoK, 2015)The above listed categories, indicates how Kenyaintegrated MEA through domestication innational biodiversity policies. 1.
2 MEAs Obligation Integration andImplementation Analysis.This portion, will highligh the ways the KenyaGovernment has been able to implement biodiversity related multilateralenvironmental agreement as a nation that has ratified such a convention. It issignificant to know that, even though much of the obligations are not wellsatisfied as regard implementation, the country still remain a good modelassumed the time the country signed the convention and what it has donecompared to other nation like South Africa as examined below 1.2.1 Integrationand implementation of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD): The CBD policy analysis involved the scrutiny of 16policies to establish how many obligations were adequately integrated. TheWildlife 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 5obligations 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 aboveaverage in addressing biodiversity issues. However, this is not enough to givethe real picture on the ground in terms of domestication. Policy on CBD analysisreviewed that out of the 16 policies, the Constitution of Kenya (GoK, 2010)scored the highest level of policy prescription integration at a mean score of49.
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 MEAobligation, indicated that obligation 1 that focus on conservation, sustainableuse and equitable sharing of biodiversity has the greatest 82 integrationlevel(100%) with obligation 12 that focus on implementation of COP decisionshaving the least integration level of 0.3% (Shah, 2014).In a nutshell, despite the commitment of the Kenyaconstitution as regard CBD domestigation, is reviewed to be weak as none of theexisting national biodiversity oriented policies has achieved the integrationstatus of 50% in terms of policy direction for MEA obligations as the averagestatus of CBD related policies amounted to just 20.
9% (Shah,2014). 1.2.2 Integration and implementation of the Conventionon International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
According to Shah, 2014, looking atthe CITES policy analysis that involvedthe scrutiny of 9 national biodiversity-related policies in Kenya. The WildlifePolicy (GoK, 2012f) had integrated 8 obligations that constitute 80% integration level whilethe National Land Policy (GoK, 2009b) has integrated only 2 obligations summedto 20% integration level. Based on reviewed explained the integration status indicated that there were no policiesin the category of 90-100%. This there reflect that the integration status of the policies is quite weak.
Aconclusive nature of CITES obligation integration in national policiesindicated that out of the 9 policies, the Draft ICZM Policy(GoK,2007a) ishaving the highest level of policy prescription integration with a mean score of42.5% while the lowest is the Draft Fisheries Policy (2005a) with only 13.3%,indicatingan 86.
7% integration gap (Shah, 2014). 1.2.3 Integration and implementation of the Conventionon the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS):The CMS policy analysis involved the scrutiny of 8 nationalpolicies. 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 ManagementPolicy (GoK, 2012c) has only integrated1obligation (10% integration level).Study concluded that CMS in Kenya indicated that only 2national policies havebeen integration status of 90-100% where as 1policy has the lowest integration status of 39% and below. Theresults reflected that the integration status of the policies is average(Shah,2014). 1.
2.4 Integration and implementation of the RamsarConvention:This policyanalysis composed the scrutiny of 5 national policies for which the National Wetlands Conservationand Management Policy (GoK,2015) was found to integrate all the 10 obligations (100%integration level) while the National Constitution of Kenya (GoK,2010) has onlyconsidered 3 obligations (30%integration level) as explained by Shah,2014. Theresearcher reviewed that in general, the integration policies is fairlyavaerage. More so, study reviewed that the National Wetlands Conservation andManagement Policy(GoK, 2015) is fairly as regards the general spirit for theRamsar Convention. Looking at Ramsar Convention obligation integration at the national policies indicated that out of the 5policies, the Sessional Paper No.6(GoK, 1999b) experience the highest level ofpolicy which a mean score of 20%.
However, with the expectation of the RamsarConvention, demonstrate that National Wetlands Conservation and Managementpolicy(GoK2015), should be a outstanding policy with the highest, this is contrary towhat prevailed in Kenya where it is low at a rate of 16.9% (Shah,2014).To demonstrate policy analysis in terms of MEAobligation, reviewed that obligation 2that talks on conservation, wise use and management of wetlands and migratory waterfowlshave to have the highest integration status of 100% contary to obligation 1that focus on designation of wetlands for inclusion in the list of wetlands ofinternational significant that have the lowest integration status of 0.78% (Shah,2014).The low rateof obligation 1 should not be misintepreted as if Kenya is not doing well on itin terms of designating Ramsar sites because this will certaily not be truewhen compared Kenya with countries like South Africa that ratified the RamsarConvention in 1975 but yet has 22 sites covering 555,678 hectares and Ghana that ratified the convention since1988 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. Ina deeper look into the domestication of the Ramsar Convention in Kenya, itpredicted that Kenya is weak due to ist 18.
8% average integration level interms of achieving MEA obligations. With this, one can assume that Kenya´s wetlandsmay not be sustainable (Shah, 2014).1.
2.5 Integration and Implementation of the WorldHeritage Convention (WHC) Policy:With this policy analysis involved the scrutiny of 7national policies that are integrated in the 9 obligations. Here, 7 obligationintegration was recorded as the highest in the National Policy on Culture andHeritage (GoK,2009c), the Wildlife Policy ( GoK, 2012f) and the NationalWetlands Conservation and Management Policy ( GoK,2015) has an integratedstatus of 77.8%.
The Forest Policy (GoK, 2014) domestigated 1obligation that reviewed 11.1%. Based on WHC obligationintegration in national policies predicted that out of the 7 policies , theNational Policy on Culture and Heritage (GoK,2009c) at 25.9% and the ForestPolicy (GoK,2014) having just 11.1%(Shah, 2014). 1.3 ConclusionFrom theabove analysis, it could be stated that the five MEAs are not well integratedin the national biodiversity policies of Kenya as the policy status rangesbetween 18 to 25% . As regards CITES is integration status is 24.
8%. Thissubsequently follow by CBD at a rate of 20.9%. CMS, WHC has an integrationstatus of 19.1% each while the Ramsar Convention is having 18.8%.
It shouldequally be denoted that CBD´s obligation 1(Article1) on conservation, sustainableuse and equitable sharing of biodiversity had the best integration level at100% among all policies. As regards CITES, only obligation 2(Article3) on traderegulation in endangered species and obligation 10( Article 13) oninternational cooperation had above average of 50% because trade regulation and cooperation onprotection of endangered species has been taking place long before the CITEScame into force. On CMS obligations, reviewed an average integration status 50%.This explains that the Ramsar Convention obligation 2 (Article 1.6) onconservation, wise use and management of wetlands are all implemented in allpolicies as compared to WHC obligations 1(Article 4) on identifying, protectingand conserving natural heritage is reflected in all the policies.