An overview of bioprospecting: Antarctica and the Southern Ocean
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
An escalating amount of scientific research on the flora and fauna of Antarctica is focused on the identification of commercially useful genetic and biochemical resources. The potential for commercial gain from such activity is likely to see it increase significantly, in the next few years. Much of this type of work falls under the umbrella term of bioprospecting The need to consider bioprospecting has been raised at the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP), in the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), and at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM). (Hemmings, A.D. 2003) Most recently, the matter was considered at the last meeting of the CEP and ATCM based on a Working Paper submitted by the United Kingdom (Jaastad, N. 2002). The CEP concluded that biological prospecting needed to be discussed during the next CEP meeting. The ATCM agreed with the CEP that biological prospecting was a very important matter. The ATCM also agreed that bio prospecting raised both legal and political issues, in addition to environmental issues.
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