Recognising indigenous rights
Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa release, 20 August 2013

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: An agreement to share benefits was signed on 19 August 2013 between indigenous San and Khoi khoi groups and the pharmaceutical company Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals in South Africa, related to the processing of Buchu, a small shrub endemic to the Western Cape used for its essential oils. Acknowledging that the San and the Khoi’s medicinal plant knowledge predates that of any subsequent inhabitants of South Africa, the landmark deal confirms that they are “legally entitled to a fair and equitable share of the benefits that result from the commercial development of the buchu plant.” Under the benefit-sharing agreement, the Khoi and San communities will receive three percent of the profits related to Buchu products. In addition, Cape Kingdom Nutraceuticals commits to share its knowledge of the commercial use of the plant with the indigenous communities, in exchange for the San and Khoi endorsing the products. Read the article …