The First Annual Biodiversity Economy Indaba ended in Polokwane today, 12 November 2013 with government committing to enhanced support to the wildlife and bioprospecting industries – key contributors to the South African economy.
The Department of Environmental Affairs had in the past hosted separate events to address these issues - a Hunting Indaba in 2012 and a Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit-Sharing Permits Celebrations in 2011 and 2012.
It was decided that this year the department would host the 2013 Biodiversity Economy Indaba, bringing together stakeholders from the biodiversity economy sectors in the hunting, game farming and related industries, as well as the bioprospecting, natural product and biotrade industries to consider the contribution of these sectors to economic growth (GDP).
The theme for the Biodiversity Economy Indaba was aligned to the 2014 Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity theme – Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.
The Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Mr Seaparo Charles Sekoati, confirmed the government’s support to the hunting and bioprospecting industries in the keynote address delivered at the First Annual Biodiversity Economy Indaba at The Ranch Hotel in Limpopo on behalf of Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa.
MEC Sekoati said the Indaba was a unique opportunity to interact, share best practice and inform policy by pooling together the knowledge of leaders and captains of industry in the biodiversity economy, including the hunting; game farming and related activities industries; as well as the bio-prospecting, natural products and bio-trade industries.
South Africa is endowed with rich natural resources but lacks measures and/or tools for effective transformation of its biological capital into goods and services for social and economic development. This shortcoming contributed to the present levels of poverty in South Africa, and Southern Africa. More....