strategy

Using biotechnology in forest conservation

Synonyms:
Developing biotechnologies for forest biological resource management
Using biotechnology for biodiversity conservation
Description:
The [Convention on Biological Diversity] recognises the fundamental link between conservation of forest biological diversity and its sustainable use. One of the primary hopes for developing sustainable use regimes for forest management is the successful development of biotechnology applications for forest biological resources, mainly in the production of new drugs and commercial products.

Biotechnology is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. Advances in this field could lead to development of products such as pharmaceuticals, antibiotics and vaccines from the components of biological diversity.

Context:
The potential of biotechnologies to exploit forest genetic resources has focused attention on the relative magnitudes of the inherent and developed values of forest genetic resources. The wild relatives of crop plants or of the few intensively-domesticated tree species have potential value as a source of genes for incorporation, whether by classical breeding or genetic engineering, into domesticated populations. Similarly, those forest organisms with potential pharmaceutical value are recognised as of sufficient potential value to justify substantial expenditure. In these cases, genetic engineering does offer the prospect of substantial financial returns, but its application is dependent on highly-domesticated populations, high levels of genetic information, and high levels of technology, all of which imply high costs.
Counter Claim:
The financial benefits arising from the application of biotechnologies to forest genetic resources seem limited in the foreseeable future. This is because the biotechnologies of most application to the undomesticated populations which typify forest biological diversity are the molecular markers which, whilst of great value in assessing genetic diversity, deliver no financial gain in themselves. Their value lies instead in the provision of information to enable development of more effective strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of forest biological diversity.
Subjects:
Resources
Biology
Biotechnology
Forestry
Management
Development
Conservation
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies