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Thu Nov 24, 2022, 10:02 AM

Kenya bans 'biopiracy' export of notorious baobabs

Also: Kenyan government halts baobab exports to Georgia after outcry (The Guardian)

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Source: BBC

Kenya bans 'biopiracy' export of notorious baobabs

22 November 2022

Kenya has cancelled a licence issued to a foreign company to uproot and export baobab trees from the coastal region amid public outcry.

The Georgian company bought eight of the giant trees from local farmers.

Environmental experts have described the planned export of the trees as "biopiracy".

Authorisation for uprooting the baobabs, which can live up to 2,500 years, was not properly obtained, the environment minister said.

Some farmers in Kilifi county reportedly wanted to clear their land to plant maize.

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Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-63716286

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Source: The Guardian

Kenyan government halts baobab exports to Georgia after outcry

President orders Ministry of Environment and Forestry to launch investigation over contractor’s licence for removing trees

Caroline Kimeu in Nairobi
Thu 24 Nov 2022 07.45 GMT
Last modified on Thu 24 Nov 2022 07.46 GMT

The Kenyan government has halted the transportation and export of Kilifi baobabs to Georgia and ordered an investigation into how a foreign contractor received permission to transport the ancient trees out of the country.

Kenya’s president, William Ruto, ordered the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to investigate whether Georgy Gvasaliya had the proper licence to take the trees out of Kenya under the Nagoya protocol, an international agreement that governs the conditions for the export of genetic resources, which has been incorporated into Kenyan law.

The protocol requires communities to give prior informed consent to any exports, and an agreement between whoever is taking them, the government and the community, on how the benefits should be shared.

The move followed the Guardian’s report last month on growing concern over the uprooting and transportation of the trees from the Kilifi region, on the Kenyan coast, at a time when the country is trying to recover lost forest cover. Kilifi has experienced the third-highest rate of tree-cover loss in Kenya over the last two decades.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2022/nov/24/kenya-government-halts-baobab-tree-exports-georgia-investigation

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