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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 5
September 2002


Highlights from Pure and Applied Chemistry

Molecular Basis of Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustained Innovative Utilization (IUPAC Technical Report)

by A. E. Fischli, U. K. Pandit, and D. StC. Black
Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 74, No. 4, pp. 697-702 (2002)

Biodiversity is a complex issue requiring global, coordinated attention from various branches of natural and social sciences, but especially from physical and life sciences. One salient aspect of biodiversity is chemical in origin. The unique and diverse molecular libraries provided by the planetary flora, fauna, and microorganisms have been a source of immense practical value to mankind.

Different parts of the globe have varying endemic biological resources, so international cooperation is required to ensure that the benefits of global bioresources can be distributed fairly and equitably. Today, the same regions rich in bioresources may not be in an ideal position to extract the maximum benefit from those assets. The necessity for mutually advantageous global cooperation in the utilization of bioresources is obvious.

Innovative utilization of bioresources links society, governments, academia, and industry. They are the main stakeholders in both preservation and utilization of bioresources, investing in and at the same time benefiting from the products and services originating from those assets. Because molecular systems or information at the molecular level are used higher up in the value chain, the chemical community is called upon to contribute to the discussion of the various scientific, economic, and ethical issues that are associated with this sort of international cooperation. To this end, IUPAC can and must play a crucial role in developing suitable recommendations, which can also be submitted to the International Council for Science.

In this report, recommendations are presented for international cooperation between academia and industry on molecular biodiversity. The following recommendations are based on discussions in workshops/meetings held in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Bangkok (Thailand), Kunming (China), and Antalya (Turkey) involving national and international representatives of relevant organizations.

Link to full text of the recommendations


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