other arrests!

Mark Walker mwalker at aisvt.bfg.com
Tue Sep 23 14:14:44 EDT 1997

John Shuey wrote:

> There is another complete side to the commercial exploitation issue that does
> and does not apply here.  Bio-propecting.  As the economic argument to save
> biodiversity is pushed, many use the example of drugs derived from
> plants/animlas, genetic material for recombinant work, etc as one of the key
> reasons to save rainforests.  This has created some nervousness in developing
> countries.  They are asked to "conserve" their resources, but they see all
> the money going to big US and European companies.  Thus, they want to assure
> that they get their share of potential profits.

Good point.  I find this situation to be one of the most obnoxious aspects of
the current debate.  In fact, it's so obnoxious that I've chosen to ignore it
for the most part.  The implication is that the permitting process has nothing
at all to do with the preservation of species, but rather the securing of
economic interest.  While it is appropriate for a ruling government to make
such a decision, it becomes difficult (and even absurd) to defend these
regulations on behalf of wildlife protection.  I would think that this scenario
would be the worst nightmare for collectors and conservationists (not mutually
exclusive) alike.

Again, the solution is to (if possible) eliminate the economic value of the
resource.  This is difficult to do when there are significant medicinal or
other altruistic benefits, but even then - given that there are alternatives -
it should be possible to kill the market by eliminating the demand.  In the
case of butterflies, it sure seems like this is within the realm of

Mark Walker

More information about the Leps-l mailing list