NBI - Ball Agreement: NBI Board Statement

The Board of the National Botanical Institute, meeting in Pretoria on Friday 4th May 2001, wishes to release the following statement on the above Agreement.

"The Board of the NBI notes with concern the media attention that has erupted following the publication of an article in the Cape Times of 6th April 2001.

The Board welcomes the considerable interest and passion aroused within the general public regarding the economic potential of our floral wealth. This provides a unique opportunity to bring wider participation to the process of developing a national legislative framework and protocols for the sustainable utilization of our nation's indigenous fauna and flora.

The Research and License Agreement entered into by NBI and the Ball Company followed wide consultation and Board approval in 1999. The Agreement provides a novel and innovative attempt to mobilise foreign investment and create employment opportunities in the horticultural industry while gaining technology transfer and other forms of benefit sharing. This complies with the current NBI's parliamentary mandate to "investigate and utilize, and promote the utilization of the economic potential of indigenous plants".

The NBI Board has appointed a task team to assess the lessons learned from this joint venture and to examine future approaches to enhancing the value to South Africa of this and similar projects.

Finally the Board commits the NBI to continue its existing close collaboration with the DEA&T, nine provincial nature conservation departments and interested stakeholders in developing policy and best practice systems to meet the requirements of the Convention on Biological Diversity".

Dr Prins Nevhutalu - Chairman: NBI Board


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