Centre for Biodiversity


Following a request by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) the Kenya government set up the Center for Biodiversity (CBD) at the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). The center role was to coordinate country studies and direct its subsequent operations in consultations with the relevant government bodies with Kenya’s ratification toon the convention on biological diversity (CBD), demands on the center have intensified and its coordinating role of NMK’s multidisciplinary biodiversity research and multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) become more active. The center also acts as an interface between biological science and other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and economics


To help fulfill national obligations to biodiversity conservation by developing a research and action programs that will gather, analyze and disseminate biodiversity information required for sustainable utilization of biological resources.


  • Contact a country wide inventory of key components of Kenya‘s biodiversity selected for their economic and ecological importance.
  • Develop capacity to analyze biological data in order to identify key sites of biodiversity interest within Kenya and use this to provide and distribute comprehensive and factual information to those charged with making land use decisions.
  • Develop quantifiable sampling protocol for focal groups and establish permanent sampling plots in order to identify and monitor activities, which have an impact on biodiversity.
  • Using taxonomic and field based knowledge, studies selected organisms and there biological environment, inorder to advice the formulation of effective and sustainable conservation policy.

Conventions addressed by the Centre

  • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
  • Global Strategy for Plants Conservation
  • Global Taxonomy Initiative
  • Africa pollinator Initiative.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild fauna and flora (CITES)
  • Ramsar Convention

The functions of the Centre for Biodiversity are fulfilled under the following sections:

  • Phytochemistry
  • Molecular genetics
  • Marine and Wetlands
  • Coastal Forest Conservation Unit

Research Projects and activities

  • KIPEPEO Butterfly farming

A community based enterprise that markets and sells products from Arabuko Sokoke forest including butterfly pupae, honey and mushroom

  •  A forest Butterfly Exhibition at Mombasa: Promoting sustainable useof coastal biodiversity.

A proposed butterfly house to be built at Fort Jesus will comprise an additional and secure market for Arabuko Sokoke butterfly farmers as well as an opportunity to exhibit and showcase coastal diversity and cultural values

  • Kwale Forest Landscape Project.

Gazettment of additional Kaya forest sites and strengthening of the management structure including demarcation of sites. It also aims to improve the livelihood activities of local communities

  •  Sustainable harvesting and resilience of Cyperus papyrus in wetlands of Kenya.It’s a PhD project which aimsat investigating sustainableharvesting regimes and population genetic diversityof papyrus for conservation purposes 

Strategic Development Partners in Research and Capacity Building

  • Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
  • SIDA
  • Royal Netherlands Embassy
  • UNEP
  • Smithsonian Institute
  • Belgium
  • BIOTA-Zoologisches Forschungs museums Alexander Koenig (ZFMK)
  • WWF
  • National Research Organization
  • Universities

Kenya Resource Center for Indigenous Knowledge (KENRIK) Section.

The Kenya resource center for indigenousknowledge (KENRIK) is a