IN 2016, the DEA and the Department of Tourism cohosted a Biodiversity Economy Operation Phakisa Delivery Lab to accelerate the economic growth and job creation opportunities in the biotechnology and biodiversity conservation sectors, in particular through the ecotourism and wildlife sectors.
The Biodiversity Economy implementation plans target the creation of 100 000 jobs, and support for 4 000 new SMMEs by 2030.
For this financial year, the department is:
Prioritising the identification of about 800 000 hectares of land for wildlife economy activities;
Establishing 11 National Biodiversity Economy Nodes and priority projects therein;
Identifying the top 25 plant species for cultivation to provide employment and stimulate economic activities across the bio-prospecting value chain;
Investing in conservation management infrastructure with a focus on base infrastructure such as fencing and water reticulation, through the Department’s Environmental Protection Infrastructure Programme;
Establishing eight pilot wildlife economy projects for this financial year; and
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.