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Side Event #2817


Date Not scheduled
Conference COP 14 / CP-COP-MOP 9 / NP-COP-MOP 3
Third meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing
Title Bioprospecting / Biotrade in South Africa
Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing
Aichi Biodiversity Targets


Innovation as a key element in the Bioprospecting Economy

Innovation products are the creations from bioprospecting and biotrade (e.g. cosmetics, foods, flavours, fragrances and pharmaceutical products. Innovation in the South African Biodiversity Economy is novel, in that, it has inputs from our indigenous biodiversity, input from indigenous/traditional knowledge associated with biodiversity use, and lastly input from the country’s scientific research and development fraternity. In other words, biodiversity related innovation is also inclusive by involving domestic individuals (directly or indirectly) in the development of innovation products.

As one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, South Africa is positioned to derive economic benefits from its natural assets through sustainable utilisation of its biological resources   

Key initiatives to kick-start growth of the Sector include:

·         Promoting the mass cultivation of 25 plant species of strategic importance, and increase the area of land under cultivation by 500 hectares per annum.

·         Defining management plans to ensure sustainable wild harvesting of seven high value plant species to safeguard long term supply.

·         Establishing a coordinating and facilitating Bio Products Advancement Network (BioPANZA) for South Africa to harness existing initiatives and to address the innovation chasm.

·         Fast-tracking amendments of Chapter 6 of National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA) to ease compliance, while ensuring protection of the rights and benefits of traditional knowledge (TK) holders, as well as aligning actions with the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit Sharing.

·         Improving the efficiency of the Bioprospecting Access and Benefit Sharing (BABS) permitting system.

All these initiatives contribute to the South African National Development Agenda focussed on poverty reduction, inequality unemployment and similarly to the International Agenda including the Sustainable Development Goals.

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