Durban - President Ramaphosa attended the Biodiversity Economy Innovation and People & Parks Conference held at the weekend.
The theme of the event was,“Innovating and Accelerating - with the people, for the people” at the Kalahari Waterfront in Thohoyandou, Venda.
The conference aims to ensure that the biodiversity economy produces healthy returns on investment. The scope of innovation products in the biodiversity economy include bioprospecting and bio-trade products such as cosmetics and pharmaceutical; wildlife and ecotourism products.
The Kalahari Waterfront Hotel and Resort is a leisure destination on the Nandoni Dam, which is a growing ecotourism centre.
In 2015, government adopted a Biodiversity Economy Strategy (BES) which seeks to increase the biodiversity contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while conserving the country’s ecosystems. It focuses on enhancing growth in various sectors including wildlife and tourism.
The Strategy was designed to sustainably advance the wildlife and bioprospecting sectors of the economy and secure sustainable livelihoods specifically for rural communities as part of meeting the targets of the National Development Plan.
Projects include farming (crop and livestock), agro-processing facilities such as an abattoir for poultry and red meat; a milling plant, tourism and wood crafting facilities.
These projects are funded and support by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD).