KEETMANSHOOP - Keetmanshoop mayor Gaudentia Kröhne says traditional plants and other related resources should not benefit only a few but all members of society.
She made these remarks in a speech read on her behalf by Keetmanshoop deputy mayor Hilia Titus during the awareness and information workshop on the implementation of the Access to Biological and Genetic Resources and Traditional Knowledge Act at Keetmanshoop on Tuesday.
Kröhne indicated that while all biological and genetic resources belong to the state, these have been entrusted to traditional leaders and local communities as its custodians, and that these custodians are not afraid to share any traditional knowledge or resources that could be of economic gain, but that it is unfortunate that such communities do not benefit from such resources, as only a few are left to rip the economic benefits of such resources.
“Sharing the knowledge on these resources in itself is a good thing, but regrettably, we have seen of late that this knowledge about our natural plants and resources have been used to enrich only a few, while not recognizing and sharing the commercial benefits with the rightful traditional owners and communities,” she said.
She further said she is thus happy to that government has acted swiftly in the promulgation of the Access to Biological and Generic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge Act of 2017, which aims to regulates access to such resources associated with traditional knowledge, protect the rights of the local communities, and to provide a fair and equitable mechanism for sharing of any benefits from such resources.
Kröhne furthermore called on the revival of such knowledge on natural plants and other resources, saying this knowledge must be preserved and should therefore be passed on from one generation to another, and she urged the youth to position themselves to receive such knowledge.
“Our fellow youth are encouraged to tap from this wealth of knowledge, so that when our elders are no more, we can still continue having such knowledge,” she said.
The three day workshop is attended by traditional leaders, community representatives, harvesters, cooperatives and traders from the //Kharas and Hardap regions respectively.