The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Dr Edna Molewa will officially open 3rd Biodiversity Economy Indaba (BEI) at the International Convention Centre in East London, Eastern Cape, on 8 March 2018.
The 3rd BEI theme is: Entrepreneurs meets investors, for a thriving and inclusive biodiversity economy. The aim is to match the various stockholders with aspirant investors and related markets within and outside South Africa.
The Indaba brings together multiple and diverse stakeholders in the biodiversity economy, including the hunting and game farm sectors and the bioprospecting, natural products and biotrade industries. In recent years, the biodiversity economy, which is an important contributor to job creation, has shown a constant annual growth of six percent.
The development of a fourteen year National Biodiversity Economy Strategy, designed to achieve the anticipated sustainable advancement for the wildlife and bioprospecting sectors of South Africa to the economy of the country, achieving sustainable livelihoods specifically for rural communities would ultimately advance meaningful contribution to achieving the targets of the National Development Plan.
The National Biodiversity Economy Strategy is the government’s plan to optimise the economic potential of the wildlife and bioprospecting sectors in South Africa whose aim is to promote a new generation of partnerships between protected areas, the private sector and communities to assist with the transformation agenda, said Minister Edna Molewa.
The Biodiversity Economy implementation plans target the creation of 100 000 jobs, and support for 4 000 new SMMEs by 2030. Developing support interventions for Biodiversity Economy projects implemented by national and provincial entities such as game donations, the provision of veterinary services and capacity building.
Biodiversity has globally been identified as the cornerstone for economic growth and sustainable development. As the third mega-biological diverse country in the world, South Africa has posed a challenge to itself to establish mechanisms in which its biodiversity can be sustainably used to contribute towards addressing the vicious circle of the three economic-ills facing the country i.e. unemployment, poverty and inequality.
The Indaba programme includes parallel sessions on the biodiversity and biotrade sectors, the wildlife sector and eco-tourism. The 3rd BEI will end with a Biodiversity Economy Parade on the Esplanade in East London on 10 March.
Source: Government of South Africa