Dennis noel de villiers (2011) Type of permit: Integrated export and Bioprospecting permit aloe ferox project

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Type of permit: Integrated export and Bioprospecting permit


The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs issued a bioprospecting permit to sell Aloe ferox sap, extracts and crystals on national and international markets for bioprospecting

Beneficiaries: Land owner of farm Matjieskraal in Kommadagga Alicedale, Eastern Cape



Employment opportunities for the local community working as harvesters to collect Aloe sap and/or crystals which are then purchased by the permit holder

Support for conservation

Training on sustainable harvesting methods of the resource.

150 000 kg of aloe juice per annum at a price rate of R28.50 per kilogram gives the local communities R3 637 500.00 per annum

    South Africa1 (2009)

NBSAP 15year targets Economies based on use of species and genetic resources are optimized and sustainably managed and contribute significantly to livelihoods and equity

  • Priority fish stocks recover to sustainable levels

  • No species status declines

  • Natural products sector contribution to GDP grows by 50% compared to 2005 baseline

  • Poverty is alleviated through more equitable and effective resource use

Outcome 4.1

An equitable access, rights and responsibilities regime promotes sustainable use of biological resources


  • Regulations on bio‐prospecting, access and benefit‐sharing have been developed and promulgated and regulations are being implemented by some provinces

  • An implementation plan for the regulations has been developed

  • Material Transfer Agreements and Benefit‐sharing agreements have been entered into with some local communities

  • DST has developed a national policy on indigenous knowledge and inter‐governmental committee on Indigenous Knowledge Systems established

  • The National Forests Act regulations give communities access to forestry

  • Forestry enterprise development being implemented

  • Land reform programme being implemented and gives consideration to sharing of benefits arising from protected areas – Memorandum of Agreement concluded between DEAT and Department of Land Affairs

  • Co‐management and benefit sharing agreements concluded between conservation agencies and some land claimants for protected areas

  • People & Parks Programme established and considers role of protected areas in local economic development, with Access and Benefit Sharing one of the thematic areas

  • Decrease in allocation of fishing quotas but other incentives have been made available to stakeholders e.g. DEAT through SRP programmes has aquacultures and mariculture projects to compensate for loss

  • New subsistence fishery policy published for comment

  • National Genebank established by the Department of Agriculture mainly for indigenous food crops


  • Limited capacity to implement Access and Benefit sharing (ABS) regulations

  • The implementation plan for the regulations is not yet accepted by all provinces and some provinces have not been formally mandated to implement the regulations

  • Insufficient co‐ordination between institutions implementing the legislation.

  • Need for awareness‐raising on roles and responsibilities of stakeholders for the legislation

  • Limited incorporation of local indigenous knowledge into biodiversity management

  • Slow progress of implementation and lack of uniform approach to land reform process

  • Conflict within the community property associations regarding restituted land and sharing of benefits

    Farmer to Pharma programme

The Department of Science & Technology has developed and is funding a Farmer to Pharma programme which deals with food crops, traditional medicines and cosmeceuticals (the screening of indigenous plants for active compounds which can be used and then taking these compounds through the value chain of identification, clinical tests etc) and indigenous jewellery. The various consortia involve several stakeholders from different institutions such as CSIR, the Agricultural Research Council, other government departments (Health, Minerals and Energy), the Medical Research Council (MRC), and universities.

The MRC is also managing a number of bioprospecting projects, funded by the Innovation Fund, to bioprospect indigenous plants for medicines to treat malaria, TB, diabetes and to search for compounds which have immuno‐modulatory effects. The research is also handled through consortia involving a number of different partners. This is a significant step forward as the different partners are responsible for using their specific skills and training and facilities to fulfil different steps in the value chain of drug development.

1 South Africa (2009). South Africa’s Fourth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, March 2009, 155 pp.

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