Tuesday, November 22, 2022 – President William Ruto has been forced to intervene after a company was cleared to uproot baobab trees from Kilifi for export to Georgia, USA.
In a statement yesterday, the Head of State directed the Ministry of Environment to open a probe into the agreement.
He noted that the state was interested in ensuring that Kenyans were beneficiaries in the project and that the exercise should be within the realm of the Convention on Biodiversity and the Nagoya Protocol.
“I have instructed the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to look into the ongoing uprooting of Baobab trees in Kilifi County to ensure that it sits within the Convention on Biodiversity and the Nagoya Protocol.”
“There must be adequate authorisation and an equitable benefit-sharing formula for Kenyans. Further, the exercise must be in line with the Government’s agenda of planting 15 billion trees in the next 10 years,” he stated.
This comes even as it is estimated that already eight trees had already been uprooted for export since Friday when the exercise begun.
The exercise has already received a nod from the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) and the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).
Besides, the County Government of Kilifi had also approved the export.
According to the report, the export was aimed for botanical purposes and was expected to last for a period of two years.
The Nagoya Protocol, which was effected in 2014, champions the access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation.
In the medical field, the botanical benefits of Baobab trees include the treatment of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, fever, microbial infections, and diarrhea among others.
The Kenyan DAILY POST.