The material incorporated in this study was originally meant to be presented to Columbia University in fulfilment of the last requirement for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. As the work progressed, however, and by the time the first painful fifty pages had been put on paper and tom up again, I became more and more aware that I had emerged out of the initial period of reading and study with convictions and aspirations which it would be difficult tot clothe in the sober garments of modesty and reserve rightly prescribed for a University thesis. Soon after the last words of the manuscript were written (March 1934) it furthermore became clear that owing to the pressure of other work, presentation in thesis form would mean indefinite delay, delay which would almost certainly render a complete revision inevitable. These considerations have led me to the decision to send out my brazen unkempt first-born under his own flag, to meet what- ever fate he deserves. In so doing I have one great regret. Time, that relentless foe of the writer on current events, has not allowed me to weave into the text all of the wise and helpful suggestions which my academical sponsor, Professor H. Parker Willis, with his generous understanding of a young writer's problems and ambitions, has so kindly offered. Had I been able to do so, this little book would have presented a far more polished aspect.
The access and benefit-sharing (ABS) policy process of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and wider discussions about the ethical and conservation issues arising from the commercial use of biodiversity and traditional knowledge, depend upon a well-developed understanding of the activities known broadly as 'bioprospecting'. However, the pace at which our understanding of genetic and other biological resources is accelerating, and market and industry trends are also undergoing constant change.
This book provides information and insights into current practices and trends in biodiversity research and bioprospecting, including for potential medicines, food and cosmetics. It presents background information on markets, research and development, and explores recent extraordinary developments in science and technology and their implications for ABS policy development and implementation. The authors present a brief history of the commercial use of biodiversity, and review key trends across sectors. The book continues with chapters devoted to the main industry sectors, including pharmaceuticals and healthcare, agriculture, industrial process biotechnology and food and beverages. Each chapter includes explanatory boxes to describe key technologies and concepts which are less widely understood, as well as input from various stakeholders including industry representatives, NGOs and researchers. It concludes with a review of industry awareness of and engagement with the CBD, ABS and other policy processes. It is an invaluable resource for all concerned with commercial bioprospecting and the implementation of ABS laws and regulations, particularly in light of the adoption of the Nagoya Protocol.
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