Origin products from African forests: A Kenyan pathway to prosperity and green inclusive growth?
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Many tropical countries have potential for adding market value to unique forest origin products similarly to how EU gain billions of Euro's annually from registering agricultural origin products, with Protected Denomination of Origin or Protected Geographical Indication. Following analysis of the renaissance for the global Geographical Indication (GI) regime, this article provides case-studies from Kenya - on Mwingi Honey, Kakamega Silk and institutional conditions under which producers may incorporate territory specific cultural, environmental, and social qualities of their unique products. We investigate prospects for Kenyan producers to create and capture additional monetary value for their forest related origin products, allowing smallholders to build livelihood, while stewarding natural environments. The origin products are investigated for their potential for protection with a GI, within five different dimensions of and links with the social and natural world. Our study shows that Mwingi Honey and Kakamega Silk have potential for registration under a GI regime based mainly on close links between local environment, flora and product quality, and product specificity. The institutional environment presents major challenges for the development of GI products and markets, exemplified by the Kenyan GI bill which is not yet enacted after almost a decade in the making. Â© 2016 Elsevier B.V
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