Biodiversity Economy Indaba

Two K2C Staff members were fortunate to attend the Biodiversity Economy Indaba, convened by the National Department of Environmental Affairs, from 10-12 March 2018. “Biodiversity is an economic sector that can contribute to radical socio-economic transformation in South Africa,” said the Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa during the key note address at this Meeting in East London.
The 3rd BEI ended with pledges by stakeholders in the wildlife, bioprospecting/ biotrade and eco-tourism sectors to ensure greater inclusivity and transformation.
The Indaba was convened under the theme: “Entrepreneurs meet investors, for a thriving and inclusive biodiversity economy,” linking various stockholders and aspirant entrepreneurs in the wildlife, bioprospecting and eco-tourism sectors with investors and related markets. The ultimate objective of the Indaba was to propel discussions with an aim of growing a sector that has enormous economic potential, especially for communities that live in deep rural areas of the country.
In recent years, the biodiversity economy, which is an important contributor to job creation and rural development, has shown a constant annual growth of six percent.
The dialogue took place within the context of the National Development Plan, the National Strategy for Sustainable Development and international obligations emanating from the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) including the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing, as well as the Aichi targets and the implementation of the CBD Strategic Plan.
Discussions were informed by the National Biodiversity Economy Strategy (NBES) and Action Plan adopted and approved by Cabinet in 2015. This 14-year Strategy is the country’s blueprint for sustaining the growth of the wildlife and bioprospecting industries. The strategy provides a basis for addressing constraints for growth in the sector by outlining stakeholder responsibilities and monitoring progress with regard to Transformative Enabling Interventions.
During the Indaba, government, investors and industry stakeholders from wildlife, bioprospecting and biotrade, and eco-tourism sectors pledged their commitment to the development and economic growth of a sector of South Africa’s economy that has the potential to become one of the largest contributors to the country’s GDP.
Among the pledges included the South African National Parks (SANParks) which undertook to donate 3 000 head of game to emerging wildlife farmers in the next three years, the pledge to donate 1 200 head of game over four years by Ezemvelo KZN wildlife, and the promise to donate 1 500 animals by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency in support of transformation and mobilisation of rural previously disadvantaged communities over five years.
Wildlife Ranching South Africa committed to socio-economic opportunities with government departments to sustainable livelihoods and the successful implementation of land reform.

The 3rd Biodiversity Economy Indaba ended with a Biodiversity Street Parade by more than 500 school children along the Esplanade in East London which was designed to raise awareness about South Africa's genetic resources and how they should be utilised on a sustainable basis.


Street Parade, attended by more than 500 schoolchildren

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