The Star Early Edition - - JUNE IS ENVIRONMENT MONTH -

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.

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