Biodiversity Economy Indaba 2015

Event date: 
2015-11-05 (All day) to 2015-11-07 (All day)

        schedule and calendar   Related documents
Background information
Contribution of Bioprospecting and Wild Life Sectors
Schedule / programme
Related content

Background information


The Department of Environmental Affairs has previously hosted events pertaining to the biodiversity economy, namely the Hunting Indaba and the bioprospecting, access and benefit sharing permits celebration, separately.  The first Bioprospecting Permit Celebration was held in September 2011 at Khwa Ttu Cultural Centre in the Western Cape, and the next event on 27 July 2012 at Kommagas in the Northern Cape. These bioprospecting permit celebration events were held to showcase bioprospecting projects in South Africa, raise awareness to stakeholders on the importance of conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity and associated traditional knowledge, and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from bioprospecting on indigenous biological resources.

Furthermore, the first Hunting Indaba was held on 29 - 30 October 2012 at Sun City in the North West Province. The 2012 Hunting Indaba was convened in order to create a platform for the various actors involved in the hunting industry to engage in dialogue on the practice of hunting, its role and contribution to conservation, transformation, rural development, community beneficiation, as well as its contribution to economic growth. These events hosted by the Minister of Environment Affairs were attended by industry bodies, academics, community representatives, NGOs, Traditional Leaders, Members of Parliament, national, provincial and local government departments, and government agencies.

The first National Biodiversity Economy Indaba was held on 11-12 November 2013 in Polokwane, Limpopo province. This event, incorporating the hunting indaba and Bioprospecting awareness event, was held with the aim to provide a platform for engagement with multiple and diverse stakeholders in the biodiversity economy, including hunting, game farm and related activities industries, as well as bioprospecting and natural products. Therefore, highlighting the concerns and brainstorming possible solutions to the challenges that face the industry. This 2 days’ event was comprised of various parallel sessions between wildlife and bioprospecting sectors (See Annexure A for the Approved 1st Biodiversity Economy Indaba Report.



Biodiversity Economy Indaba is a biennial platform that aims at bringing together various stakeholders from bioprospecting and wildlife sectors to discuss challenges facing these sectors and trying to find solutions. The 1st Biodiversity Economy Indaba managed to bring together the multiple and diverse stakeholders in the wildlife and bioprospecting/biotrade sub-sectors to establish a single platform to discuss challenges that are faced by these two sub-sectors and they were able to effectively come up with the action plan to address such challenges.

Given this, it is clear that the Department undertakings are on the trajectory to promote socio-economic development that is environmentally sustainable. Thus, the theme of the second Indaba is ‘Biodiversity is good for Business, Business is good for Biodiversity’. The Indaba will seek to promote how the sustainable use of biological resources could promote socio-economic development and alleviate livelihoods, whilst these activities increase awareness and allocate resources integral for sustainable use of the biodiversity. The proposed venue for the second Indaba will be in the KwaZulu-Natal Province.

The Second Biodiversity Economy Indaba will bring together multiple and diverse stakeholders in the biodiversity economy, including the hunting, game farm and related activities industries, as well as the bioprospecting and biotrade industries, over a 2 ½ day period. Similar to the first Indaba approach, there will be a number of parallel sessions taking place during this event.

The anticipated outcome of the Second Biodiversity Economy Indaba will be to consider the scope and extent of utilisation of indigenous biological resources, contribution of wildlife and bioprospecting sector to the not only to the country’s economy but to understand the role that these two sectors play in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development beyond the measure of the contribution to national GDP. Nevertheless, the following specific outcomes are proposed:

Biodiversity Economy Indaba (Bioprospecting/Biotrade and Wildlife sub-sectors)

  • Launch of the Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES)

    As a strategic tool to address challenges and achieve anticipated sustainable advancement for the wildlife and bioprospecting/biotrade industries, the Department of Environmental Affairs has developed the Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES) and in a process of preparing for its implementation. This is a 14 year strategy for the wildlife and bioprospecting sector, which will guide the sustainable growth of the sector and provide a basis for addressing constraints related to its growth. Furthermore it will also ensure the sustainability of the sector, as well as the ecological infrastructure which underpins the sector. It will identify and outline clear responsibilities of the stakeholders in the sector and subsequently monitor the progress of the strategy and individual interventions related to the strategy. The objectives of the BES are: to optimize the direct, indirect and induced economic benefits from the sustainable use of  South Africa’s indigenous biological resources; to provide national coordination, leadership and guidance to the biodiversity economy of the country; and to provide an enabling environment for the transformation of the biodiversity economy in the country.

    Its effective implementation will see the South African biodiversity economy achieving an average annualised GDP growth rate of 10% per annum by 2030. This goal is aligned to the National Development Plan and most recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals.  Furthermore, this Strategy will not only assist South Africa’s transition to Green Economy, but will also play a bigger role for livelihoods in job creation and poverty reduction, especially for rural communities, as most of the indigenous biological resources surrounds these communities. Furthermore, this Strategy will play a major role in the transformation of the economy by motivating marginalised individuals to start their own biodiversity based enterprises, as well as enhancing the entrepreneurial spirit of current players in the sector, thus, creating an appreciable and sustainable economic presence.

  • Launch of the National Bioprospecting Forum

    This is a newly established forum that will serve as a platform for formal communication between industry, communities, research institutions (academic and commercial), communities, knowledge holders with the different spheres of government. The objectives of this forum are mainly the implementation of the bioprospecting/biotrade aspects of the BES and the implementation of the Biodiversity Economy Indaba Action Plan.

  • Launch of the report on the, “Scope and extent of utilisation of indigenous biological resources in the bioprospecting industry in South Africa”

    This is a study conducted by the Department of Environmental Affairs in order to enrich its understanding of the regulated sectors that are actively involved in bioprospecting, focusing on the nature and extent of the bioprospecting and biotrade market size in South Africa. The key findings of this report provide insight about the manner in which value is being added to the country’s biodiversity and the extent that it is sought after by domestic and international markets. This study was able to determine a bioprospecting commercial industry value chain, showing key role players and processes, from the resource to the ender user.

  • Launch of the Scoping Report on the Overview of Current Approaches and Practices of South African Businesses to the Mainstreaming Of Biodiversity.

    The decisions adopted at COP 11, has led to many countries starting Business and Biodiversity Initiative. This has led to the establishment of the National Biodiversity and Business Network (NBBN) which was financially supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs alongside other partners namely, Nedbank Limited, Hatch Goba, De Beers, Transnet, Pam Golding Properties and Pick n Pay. This members are also founding pioneer members of this network, however it is being administered by the Endangered Wildlife Trust.

    The Department of Environmental Affairs in collaboration with the NBBN decided to conduct a preliminary scoping study with the aim of assessing current approaches and practices of South African businesses to mainstream biodiversity with the aim of facilitating engagement amongst the members to assist with the integration and mainstreaming of biodiversity into business agendas and operations. The aim of this scoping report was not to conduct a detailed comparative assessment between companies but rather to get a general overview of the current practices and approaches of South African businesses regarding biodiversity mainstreaming.

  • Action plan for the achievement of optimal industry growth in the Biodiversity Economy (Bioprospecting/Biotrade and Wildlife sub-sectors).

    The 2nd Biodiversity Economy Indaba will also see stakeholders engaging in parallel sessions on issues affecting the bioprospecting/ biotrade and wildlife sub-sector respectively. The wildlife sub-sector discussions will be centered on wild animal colour variance and selective breeding. This issues has received vast interest from stakeholders in terms of its economic benefits and from a conservation point of view. Discussions in the Bioprospecting session will be based on issues relating to collaborative enterprise development and South African Environmental Legislations regulating this sub-sector. The envisaged outcome of this sessions is an action plan for the achievement of optimal industry growth in the Biodiversity Economy for both Wildlife and Bioprospecting Sub-sectors.

  • Progress report of the 1st Biodiversity Economy Indaba Action Plan.

    One of the prominent outcomes of the first National Biodiversity Economy Indaba was a comprehensive action plan developed by stakeholders within the wildlife and Bioprospecting sub-sectors through parallel sessions. This action plan comprised of issues that needed to be addressed through a collaborative effort from stakeholders. DEA will therefore give a report on the progress made thus far and on the issues that are outstanding pertaining to the action plan.

  • Promotion of community involvement, poverty alleviation and industry transformation.
  • Recognition of bioprospecting permit holders.

    This session will see recipients of Bioprospecting Permit issued after the first Biodiversity Economy Indaba event in Polokwane being recognized by Political Principals. 


Legislation relating to biodiversity utilisation

South Africa is Party to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). Both Conventions relate to the sustainable use of biodiversity. According to the Biodiversity Economy Strategy, sustainable use refer to the use of components of biological diversity in a way and at a rate that does not lead to its long term decline, thereby maintaining its potential to meet the needs of current and future generations. ”Moreover, the term Sustainable development is defined in the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), (Act No. 107 of 1998) as follows: “Sustainable development means the integration of social, economic and environmental factors into planning, implementation and decision making so as to ensure that development serves present and future generations.”

South Africa became a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1975. CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls. All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering that licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to advise them on the effects of trade on the status of the species.

Globally, regulation of bioprospecting and biotrade activities can be traced back to 1992, when theinternational community adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). This Convention comprises three main objectives, namely: conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources including their associated traditional knowledge. The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (in short referred to as “The Nagoya Protocol on ABS) was adopted in 2010 at the tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and it sets in place a legally-binding agreement specific to access and benefit sharing. South Africa became a contracting Party to the CBD in 1995 and ratified the Nagoya Protocol on ABS in 2013. The National Department of Environmental Affairs is the national focal point for both these international instruments.

To give effect to the objectives of the CBD, South Africa promulgated the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 (Act No. 10 of 2004) (NEMBA) which provide for, among others, the management and conservation of biological diversity within the Republic; and the use of indigenous biological resources in a sustainable manner. The legislation contains framework chapters on Threatened or Protected Species and Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing. These chapters respectively seek to (i) protect species that are threatened or in need of national protection and restrict activities including trade involving listed threatened or protected species, and (ii) regulate the use of indigenous biological resources for bioprospecting, through permit systems.

The Minister may, in terms of NEMBA, develop regulations relating to these matters. The TOPS Regulations regulate, among others, a specific restricted activity, namely hunting. The TOPS Regulations address the following hunting related issues:

a) The prohibition of put and take hunting of listed large predators (excluding lion);

b) Illegal hunting and prohibited hunting methods and devices;

c) Formal recognition by the Director-General for hunting organizations.

The Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing, 2008 (BABS Regulations) provides detailed requirements and procedures pertaining to bioprospecting issues, including:

  • Requirements to obtain a permit to engage in bioprospecting activities
  • The content and criteria for negotiating and concluding Material Transfer Agreements and Benefit Sharing Agreements. 

Contribution of Bioprospecting and Wild Life Sectors to the Country’s economy

a) Bioprospecting sector/ Indigenous natural products

The indigenous natural products sector includes any product produced or derived from biological ingredients of plant, animal and any other organism (e.g. microorganism) origin. These products could be of a pharmaceutical, cosmetic, industrial (functional), nutraceutical, or aesthetic nature. Resources utilised in bioprospecting and biotrade include whole organisms, parts thereof as well as parts that contain hereditary information or biochemical compounds. The sector also includes the buying and selling of primary indigenous natural products for further bioprospecting. Many of the species of indigenous biological resources are traditionally used for food, medicines or cultural purposes and traded for these purposes. Other biological resources with commercial potential for industrial or pharmaceutical application are micro-organisms, marine organisms, gums and resins and venoms.

The existing commercial market for trade in South African Bitter Aloe, or Aloe ferox is well established, as is the trade in Pelargonium sidoides, Buchu, Rooibos, Honey Bush, Devil’s Claw and crocodile fat/oil. These indigenous biological resources are predominantly used in the manufacturing of herbal medicines, cosmetics, food flavourants, and fragrances. In 2006 the Rooibos tea industry was valued at R114 million, and it is estimated that the current biodiversity-based product sector has an annual value of R280 million, with a potential to develop to R2.15 billion per year. Currently, there exists a whole unchecked and unrecorded traditional medicine industry in South Africa, contribution of which is potentially significant once explored. However, the conservation outcome of current wild harvesting of these indigenous species needs to be examined and managed.  The contribution of the bioprospecting sector to GDP in the year 2013 was approximately R0.1 billion.

b) Wildlife sector

The contributions of the wildlife sector include non-consumptive wildlife viewing (eco-tourism); trophy hunting and the associated industries (e.g. taxidermy, gun smiths); sale of live game; and sale of game meat. The trophy hunting industry contributed more than R6.1 billion to the national economy in 2010. One example of the value of live game can be taken from an auction held in 2012 where the total turnover of the auction was R31-million (ZAR). The lowest average price paid for any animal at the auction was R10 000 and the highest price paid for a single animal was R800 000. The average price paid for any animal at the auction was R225 224. Further opportunities exist in the sale of game meat, and leather. Organic certification of leather would require that the producing farms, cattle, abattoirs and tanneries are all inspected and certified.The contribution of the wildlife sector to GDP in the year 2013 was approximately R2.9 billion.


Event schedule / programme

Day 1: 5 November 2015
Time Activity Presenter
08:00-09:00 Registration  
09:00-09:0 Opening Mr Desmond Golding Programme Director
09:05-09:10 Singing of the national anthem Led by Programme Director
09:10-9:30 Welcome Mr. James Nxumalo Mayor of eThekwini MunicipalityMr. Michael
09:30-09:45 Purpose of the 2nd Biodiversity Economy Indaba Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu MEC: Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, KwaZulu-Natal Province
09:45-10:00 Message of support Mr. Edward Senzo Mchunu Premier: Kwazulu-Natal Province
10:00-10:15 Message of support Mr Gugile Nkwinti Minister of Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
  • Entertainment
  • Introduction of Minister of Environmental Affairs


Local Performers Mr Michael Mabuyakhulu MEC: Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, KwaZulu-Natal Province
10:20-11:35 Keynote address Mrs Bomo Edith Edna Molewa Minister of Department of Environmental Affairs
Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit-sharing (BABS) Permits handover Mrs Bomo Edith Edna Molewa Minister of Department of Environmental Affairs


Milestone payment for permit awarded to CSIR- Monatin Project Minister of DEA CEO: CSIR
11:35-11:45 Vote of thanks Ms Nosipho Ngcaba Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs
11:45-13:00 Launching of the Market-Sizing Report and the Scoping Report on Biodiversity Mainstreaming in Business Ms Nosipho Ngcaba Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs
13:00-14:00 Lunch

Plenary discussion: pledge for transformation of the biodiversity economy

Facilitator: Ms Nosipho Ngcaba Director-General: Department of Environmental Affairs

  • Dr Gert Dry (Wildlife Ranching South Africa)
  • Mr Andrew Zaloumis  (iSimangaliso Wetland Park)
  • Mr Steven Palos  (Confederation of Hunters Association South Africa)
  • Ms Adri Kitshoff (Professional Hunters’ Association South Africa)
  • Conservation Management Authorities - Provinces Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
  • Mr Lawrence Mogakane (National People & Parks Programme)
  • Ms. Gobodo Nomfundo (Chief Land Claims Commissioner)
Day 2: 6 November 2015  

Wildlife Sector:

  • Topic:
    • Colour Variants and Selective Breeding: Conservation, Genetics and Economy

Facilitator: Independent

Bioprospecting Sector:

  • Topic:
    • Developing Business models and Innovation Networks
  • Output:
    • Collaborative enterprise development model for the Biodiversity Economy

Facilitator: Mr Sindisile Madyo



Setting the Scene - The Transformation Status of the Wildlife Subsector: Mr Ngcali Nomtshongwana – Department of Environmental Affairs
  • Contribution of eco-tourism to the economy: Dr David Mabunda – CEO Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
  • The Role of National Parks on Community Development: Mr Fundisile Mketeni – CEO SANParks
  • Community Participation in Conservation: A People and Parks Programme: Mr Caiphus Khumalo – Department of Environmental Affairs
  • Coat Colour Variants: Fact or Fiction?: Dr Peter Oberem – Wildlife Ranching South Africa
Setting the Scene - The Transformation Status of the Bioprospecting Industry: Prof Neil Crouch – Bioprospecting Advisory Committee
  • Dr Khathutshelo M Sikhiṱha,
  • Department of Economic Development
  • Ms Gill Banda – Muthi Futhi
  • Dr Sechaba Bareetseng – CSIR
  • Mr Ellis Levember – South African Essential Oil Business Incubator
  • Dr Riana Kleynhans – Tshwane University of Technology
  • South Africa’s Compound Library of Natural Products: Prof Vinesh Maharaj - University of Pretoria


10:30-11:00 Tea



Wildlife Sector:

  • Topic:
    • Colour Variants and Selective Breeding: In practice and lessons learned

Facilitator: Independent

Bioprospecting Sector:

  • Topic:
    • Harmonisation orientated policy making
  • Output:
    • Model for harmonisation of the Nagoya Protocol and RSA policy and legislations

Facilitator: Prof. Neil Crouch



  • Contribution of Colour Variants to the Economy: Mr Mike Gcabo – Private Game Farmer
  • Intensive Breeding and Genetics: Dr Desire Dalton: National Zoological Gardens
  • Selective Breeding: In Practice and Lessons Learned: Mr Barry York – Private Game Farmer
  • Colour Variation: In Practice and Lessons Learned: Mr Richard York – Private Game Farmer
  • Impact of Colour Variants on Professional Hunting: Mr Herman Meyeridicks – President of the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa
  • Andile Grootboom/ Hlupheka Chabalala – Department of Science and Technology
  • Dennis Channee – Department of Trade and Industry
  • Mrs Lactitia Tshitwamulomoni – Department of Environmental Affairs
  • Mr Victor Thindisa – Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries








Wildlife Sector: Panel Discussion

  • Topic:
    • Colour Variants and Selective Breeding: A sustainable model for the sector

Facilitator: Independent

  • Speaker

Bioprospecting Sector:

  • Topic:
    • Investment for socio-economic transformation
  • Output:
    • Bioprospecting Sector Investment Plan.

Facilitator: Ms Melanie Wilkinson




  • Peter Oberem– Wildlife Ranching South Africa
  • Mr Mike Gcabo– Private Game Farmer
  • Dr Desire Dalton: National Zoological Gardens
  • Mr Barry York– Private Game Farmer
  • Mr Richard York– Private Game Farmer
  • Mr Herman Meyeridicks– President of the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa
  • Mrs Sunita Kalan- Department of Science and Technology
  • Dr Boitumelo Semete- CSIR
  • Sandra Kruger – Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI)
  • Suhel al-Janabi - ABS Capacity Development Initiative
  • Mr Cyril Lombard - PhytoTrade Africa
  • Mr Christo Fourie– Industrial Development Corporation





Networking dinner

  •  Bioprospecting and Wildlife Exhibition
  • Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit-Sharing (BABS) Help Desk





Tittle   Organisation Presenter
Support the creation of African Story through Natural Resources DTI Ms Khosi Mayekiso   

BABS Legislative Framework- A key tool for harmonisation

DEA Mrs Lactitia Tshitwamulomoni
Bioprospecting Economy at a glance DEA Mrs Preshanthie Naicker-Manick
Harmonise what and why? South Africa and the Nagoya Protocol SANBI Proffessor Neil Crouch

Policy Harmonisation – An industry road map

Direct Selling Assoc /CTFA/Rooibos Council

Mr Ernest du Toit                     

BABS permitting for collaborative natural product development

University of Tshwane

Dr Riana Kleynhans

Muthi Futhi: Business Community Muthi Futhi Ms Gill Whittington Banda   

Community involvement in the commercialisation of medicinal plant species


Dr Sechaba Bareetseng      

Developing Bioprospecting Business Model and Innovation Networks


Mr Sindisiwe Madyo          

SA Essential Oil Business Incubator


Mr Ellis Levember 

The PhytoTrade Africa Value Chain Approach

PhytoTrade Africa

Mr Cyril Lombard

Creation of a National Compound Library/Biodiversity Market Bank 

University of Pretoria 

Prof Vinesh Maharaj  

IDC’s prioritisation of the Natural Products industry

The ABS Capacity Development Initiative

Christo Fourie

Investing in best practices:capacity development and enabling environments

Industrial Development Corporation  

Pierre du Plessis    

Leveraging South African Biodiversity: Producing Safe Products for the Market

CBIs Natural Ingredients

Mrs Sandra Kruger

Production of Essential Oil and Vegetable Oil has potential for Socio-Economic Transformation in South Africa

Africa   SAEOPA

Karen Swanepoel


Related documents 



Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES)

Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES) is required to guide the sustainable growth of the wildlife and bioprospecting industries and to provide a basis for addressing constraints to growth, ensuring sustainability, identifying clear stakeholder’s responsibilities and monitoring progress of the enabling actions. The purpose of BES is to provide a 14 year national coordination, leadership and guidance to the development and growth of the biodiversity economy.




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