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  • Writer's pictureInternational Lawyers Project

Review of Kenya’s Natural Resources (Benefit Sharing) Bill

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Kenya is endowed with vast and diverse natural resources that can have a transformative impact on its economy through revenue generation, capital inflows, and ecosystem services. However, local communities have not reaped the benefits of developing these natural resources because of the failure to allocate them a fair share of relevant revenues and to include them in the development infrastructure.

In a bid to stop the ongoing conflict over sharing of proceeds, a Kenyan Senator sponsored the Natural Resources (Benefit Sharing) Bill 2022. This Bill is the latest effort by Kenya’s Parliament to address the lack of accountability and transparency issues in natural resources benefit sharing. The Bill seeks to integrate existing independent benefit-sharing schemes across sectors into one comprehensive legal framework to ensure benefits accruing from the exploitation and utilisation of natural resources are distributed equitably to all levels of government, communities, and the impacted entities. Legislation that promotes transparency and informed decision-making will help to build community partnerships and support for conservation, facilitate law enforcement and prevent conflicts and corruption.

ILP’s Action

ILP’s volunteer lawyers supported the East African Wildlife Society (EAWLS) with a legal review of Kenya’s Natural Resources (Benefit Sharing) Bill 2022. They provided recommendations for legislative amendments based on international best practices to ensure that revenues accrued from the exploitation of natural resources are shared with and benefit the people of Kenya, as well as ensure the protection of the environment. EAWLS will use the legal recommendations when proposing amendments to the Benefit Sharing Bill via the National Assembly, and to support its advocacy for just and equitable benefit sharing allocation.


EAWLS is now better equipped to propose changes to the Bill that are aligned with international best practices on equitable sharing of benefits for all relevant stakeholders, particularly the local communities. Well-drafted legislation strengthens the law by ensuring good governance, where revenues accrued from the sustainable utilisation of natural resources benefit the people of Kenya as well as guarantee the protection of both the environment and human life. If the Bill is passed with the proposed changes, this will also be a landmark victory for civil society groups that have long advocated for local communities and indigenous peoples to receive their fair share of benefits from the development of natural resources on their lands.


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