International Conference on Biodiversity and Bioresources
- Conservation and Utilization
Phuket, Thailand, 23-27 November 1997
> Published in Pure Appl. Chem. 70(11), 2065-2145
Biodiversity and bioresources is a new theme
for an IUPAC conference, and it might seem an odd topic for a chemical
organization. On reflection, though, the link between chemistry and
biology was apparent from the work of Wöhler and Fischer in the
last century and is today growing exponentially. A major facet of biodiversity
is its associated molecular diversity: natural chemistry has always
been a stimulus for man made chemistry. Few people cared for ß-lactams
or enediynes, for instance, until they were isolated as bioresources.
With the attention being addressed to biodiversity
and bioresources worldwide, two clouds have appeared on the horizon.
One of these is sustainability. A look at the whaling industry and much
of the world's fishing industry will demonstrate the result of unregulated
or badly regulated exploitation. The other cloud is ownership. Surely
nations and indigenous peoples have rights and responsibilities to their
bioresources, just as they have to their mineral, agricultural and cultural
resources. Exploitation by others of a nation's or a peoples' bioresources,
including their unpatented, unprotected traditional knowledge must involve
some reward. Such a reward should either be financial or, much more
worthwhile, an intellectual boost to the local academic system.
Thoughts like these prompted the adoption
of the Phuket Declaration at the IUPAC Bioresources and Biodiversity
Conservation and Utilization Conference.