'No foreign country can take plants without a permit,' says expert
Associate professor at North-West University Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu joined Afternoon Drive to explain why African countries such as South Africa have placed policies when it comes to the benefits of African medicine when their knowledge is commercialised.
He explained that traditional medicine in Africa has been gaining attention and innovation interest despite the advances in modern medicine.
Plants originating from Africa constitute about 8% of the 1,100 medicinal plants commercialised globally. South Africa has taken several measures to protect biodiversity and includes communities that were previously marginalised and exploited. The country has created laws and institutions that promote the formal recognition of indigenous knowledge.
The law is called the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act, created in 2004. This means the communities who guard the knowledge of African traditional medicinal plants should get a fair economic return from these natural resources.
No foreign country can take plants without a permit and the reason for a permit and the agreement is that they will be a guideline that if this product is commercialised what will be the benefit of the country and to the community that owns that knowledge.Adeyemi Oladapo Aremu, Associate Professor - North-West University
Aremu says even though the law is good for the country, it has grey areas and that is why last year the president introduced the national recording system which will trace and record the medicinal plants in each South African region.
Listen below for the full interview...
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