Can money grow on trees? Win-win strategies for 'sustainable bioprospecting'

UNU-INTECH author Padmashree Gehl Sampath will be available for advance interviews in New York on 18 April. Telephone interviews with European and international media can be arranged on 14-15 April. Please use the contacts listed below or email terrycollins@rogers.com and/or mwangi@intech.unu.edu to schedule a time. A panel presentation and book launch will take place on Tuesday 19 April at the UN Secretariat Building, Conference Room 5, 9:30 - 12:30 (details at http://www.ony.unu.edu/).

More than a decade after the coming into force of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), 'biodiverse' developing countries are yet to cash-in on their 'green gold'. Most of the innovative bioprospecting partnerships set up in the wake of the CBD, such as the much publicized Merck-INBio collaboration in Costa Rica, and several initiatives coordinated by the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) Programme, have come to an end without achieving tangible results.

With more pharmaceutical companies turning to exploring other new technologies as sources for new drugs, it is becoming increasingly clear that poor countries might never realize the full benefits of their genetic endowments. An expert panel discussion convened by United Nations University and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development on 19 April 2005, at the UN Headquarters in New York, will debate strategies that developing countries can adopt to attract investments in drug research and development based on genetic resources. Invited panelists include David Newman (US National Institutes of Health); Gordon Cragg (Former Director, Natural Products Drug Research, National Cancer Institute, US); A.H. Zakri, Director, UNU-Institute for Advanced Studies, Japan; Daniel Macgraw, Executive Director, Centre for International Environmental Law, W

Contact: Wangu Mwangi
United Nations University

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