EU gives boost to regional natural products research and policy development

The SABINA network has successfully secured European Union funding for a project which aims to support natural products research and policy development in the Southern African region.

The project, titled Policy and support actions for Southern African Natural Product partnership (POL-SABINA) will receive €950 000 over three years from the EU African, Carribean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) programme.

The activities of POL-SABINA will be directed towards co-ordination and networking in applied research and the development of a knowledge management system (Virtual Research Environment) for SABINA. A major focus will also be on the development of policies to support the scientific use of natural products. This aspect will involve the NEPAD SANBIO office and look at intellectual property issues as well as trans-boundary access and benefit-sharing.

Additional focus areas include the provision of training to the scientific community in research methodology, project management, research fund management and grant writing; linking the SABINA network to policy makers, farmers and entrepreneurs; establishing external peer review and evaluation procedures for SABINA; and extending the nodes to other institutions in SADC region.