Natural Justice begins Biocultural Community Protocol process in Venda, South Africa

By Sobantu Mzwakali 31 January 2020

In December 2019, Natural Justice met with six Venda chiefdoms as part of its ongoing Biocultural Community Protocol process. A field trip was conducted with members of Natural Justice meeting and discussing aspects of the baobab, a key indigenous tree species, with representatives of the chiefdoms.

As part of this process, Natural Justice travelled to the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo, South Africa. The visit was hosted by the Department of Environment, Fisheries and Forestry (DEFF) and is part of the UNDP-GEF Global ABS Project entitled: “Strengthening human resources, legal framework and institutional capacities to implement the Nagoya Protocol”. At a country-level, the project is about the development of a Biocultural Community Protocol for the six chiefdoms/traditional authorities and their communities, located in two local municipalities falling inside the Vhembe District Municipality borders: the Musina Local Municipality and the Thulamela Local Municipality.

In attendance were traditional leaders, different government department officials from the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Department of Human Settlement (DHS), Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), and Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Limpopo (LEDET) at national and municipal level. Also present were representatives from the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

On the second day, Natural Justice conducted a field visit to the Thengwe Traditional Authority. We were accompanied by the ministry of Traditional Affairs, who also looked at some of the baobab resources in the area.

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