THE BIODIVERSITY LAB – SUPPORTING ECONOMIC GROWTH WITH BIODIVERSITY
In 2016, the Department of Tourism and the Department of Environmental Affairs initiated The Biodiversity Lab. The Biodiversity Lab’s overall objective is to develop detailed implementation plans to grow the economic contribution of South Africa’s biological resources in the following sectors:
The Department of Tourism and the Department of Environmental Affairs have taken the initiative to conduct an ‘Implementation Lab’ on how South Africa’s biodiversity can be used for transformation purposes. In essence, this was to create an environment for participants from government, industry, civil society and academia, whereby they could work full time to develop a detailed implementation plan to unlock the full potential of these biodiversity sectors.
During this 5-week intensive process, the participants committed to creating detailed implementation plans to hit ambitious targets for the next 5 years. It will form a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to work together towards the common goal of expanding South Africa’s biodiversity sector in a sustainable way.
The lab was born from the fact that South Africa is the third most biodiverse country in the world.
The lab has set the following short- to mid-term targets for these initiatives:
Year 2018 – Identify and prioritise 10m Ha for transformation of wildlife economy – 10m ha land mapped and prioritised