Business adds value to indigenous medicine
A global legal framework that came into force in 1992 changed that. Countries that signed the Convention on Biological Diversity had to ensure that the originators of traditional knowledge get a fair share of any benefits when universities or businesses use biological resources.
Several companies have used buchu for years as a medicine or food additive. When South Africa passed its benefit-sharing laws, ‘nutraceuticals’ company Cape Kingdom came forward voluntarily to negotiate an agreement with the San and Khoi people.
The agreement is an example of a fair partnership where indigenous people and a private firm work together to add value to natural resources and benefit from their use.
This image gallery visits the Paarl Valley, one of the areas where buchu grows wild, to take a look at the plant, Cape Kingdom’s facilities and some of the health products developed with the plant.