[QODLink]
Americas
Costa Rica's 'bio-prospecting' under fire
Once the UN model for benefiting from natural resources, nations struggles to protect biodiversity.
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 23:11

One of the achievements of the first Rio Earth Summit, held 20 years ago, was the creation of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity.

The convention's objective was to conserve natural habitats by allowing genetic material to be used as a natural resource for sustainable development. 

In 1990, Costa Rica's National Biodiversity Institute signed a pioneering contract with the US pharmaceutical giant Merck to isolate extracts from rainforest plants in the search for medical remedies.

It was the first country to recognise its rights to benefit from its biological resources and became a model for the UN convention.

The implementation of biodiversity "prospecting" continues to face growing opposition, however, from political figures and climate change sceptics. 

Al Jazeera's Tom Ackerman reports.

 

120

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Weaving and handicrafts are being re-taught to a younger generation of Iraqi Kurds, but not without challenges.
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Featured
As nuclear age approaches eighth decade, visitors flock to historic bomb craters at New Mexico test sites.
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
join our mailing list