During 2014 the Department of Environmental Affairs conducted a study to verify the traditional knowledge associated with Rooibos and Honeybush endemic species in South Africa.
The major conclusions of the study are as follows:
· There’s no evidence to dispute the communities’ perceptions that traditional knowledge rests with the communities where the species are endemic and/or with the Khoi and San people of South Africa; and
· Any individual or organization engaging or planning a bioprospecting project involving Rooibos or Honeybush species must engage with the Khoi and San people of South Africa.
The Department of Environmental Affairs informed the affected industries to engage with the National Khoi & San Council (NKC) and the San Council with an intention to negotiate a Benefit Sharing Agreement in the context of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEMBA) 2004 and the Bioprospecting, Access and Benefit Sharing Regulations, 2008. The NKSC and San Council will now initiate the process with the affected industries.