Within the countries of South and North America are found some of the most diverse collections of flora and fauna in the world. Colombia alone carries over 50 thousand different plant species. This precious resource, however, is quickly dwindling. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are tapping America's genetic resources at an ever-increasing rate, and habitat destruction has pushed many species to extinction or to the brink of extinction.
Protecting Biodiversity addresses one of the most fundamental aspects of this important issue: the lack of adequate national laws regulating access to, and compensation for, the use of local genetic resources. This book is the first to compare such laws and policies across a range of countries in both the industrialized and developing worlds, including Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Peru, and the United States. It also presents legal viewpoints, conclusions, and solid recommendations for future action.
Protecting Biodiversity is the newest reference book in the rapidly emerging legal field that combines environmental, intellectual property, contract, and administrative law. It will interest researchers, professors, and university students; public and private organizations involved in biotechnology, conservation, the environment, intellectual property, and related issues; government policymakers and development professionals; and indigenous peoples' organizations around the world.
Susan P. Bass is Director of the Inter-American Program at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC, USA.
Manuel Ruiz Muller is Principal Researcher in the Biodiversity Program of the Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental (SPDA) in Lima, Peru.