Busias’s 2018 Biodiversity Conservation Policy recognizes the benefits of underutilized crops (such as nutrient-rich African leafy vegetables, Bambara groundnut, and finger millet) allocating resources to conserve and promote regional agrobiodiversity, with specific provisions for designated conservation areas and recommendations for further incorporation of native species into the school curriculum.
The policy is the culmination of nearly two years of engagement and research with a range of multi-level partners including policymakers, farmer groups, women’s organizations, and school procurers to spread awareness regarding the value of indigenous species. The final policy document was the result of a prolonged writing and approval process involving public participation, as well as the formation of a cross-sectoral policy taskforce.
Busia’s policy focus is four-fold:
- Enhancing biodiversity conservation;
- Improving access to and ensuring equitable sharing of benefits accrued from access and utilization of county biodiversity;
- Promoting biodiversity utilization;
- Promoting biodiversity research and development.
Adapted from Busia, first county in Kenya to endorse a Biodiversity Conservation Policy. Bioversity International (2018).
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Photo by A. Grasso/Bioversity International