Biodiversity, Biotechnology, and Sustainable Development in Health and Agriculture: Emerging Connections
With a Diskette
PAHO Scientific Publication, No 560
ISBN-13    9789275115602 ISBN-10    9275115605
Order Number    16100560 Format    E-book collection (PDF)
Price    CHF    64.00 / US$    76.80 Developing countries:    CHF    44.80
English     1996        247   pages
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A multi-authored exploration of the extent to which the rich biodiversity of flora and fauna in Latin America and the Caribbean might be exploited to the economic benefit of these countries and the ultimate improvement of health. Featuring the views of economists, sociologists, lawyers, and scientists, the book aims to paint a realistic picture of what the economic returns might be while also considering the many complex issues pertaining to intellectual property rights, source country compensation, technology transfer, and resource conservation. Two main health-related uses of biodiversity are considered: the development of novel pharmaceutical products and the improvement of nutrition through agricultural advances. Noting that most developing countries lack the technical expertise to exploit their natural biological resources, the authors give particular attention to examples of collaboration between host countries and science and industry in the industrialized world.
The book has fifteen papers presented in six parts. The first, on bioprospecting models, evaluates several benefit-sharing agreements for the commercial exploitation of biodiversity. Particular attention is given to novel contractual mechanisms that can help ensure an equitable financial return to the host country. Papers in part two assess the potential contribution of biodiversity and biotechnology to the discovery of new drugs, particularly in view of the high financial risks and time-frame involved, and the development of new plant varieties and animal breeds. Political issues and policy options are explored in part three, which includes a framework for understanding the biotechnological connection between tropical genetic resources as raw materials and the pharmaceutical industries as profit makers.
Papers in part four outline economic models that can be used to compare the advantages and disadvantages, for both the prospecting industry and the host country, of alternative contractual arrangements governing the use of biological resources in pharmaceutical development and agriculture. Part five discusses intellectual property rights and contracts and considers how existing legal measures for the protection of flora and fauna may constrain the exploration, screening, and exportation of biological resources. The final part sets out the main conclusions reached, emphasizing the policy options and economic prospects.