Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Brazil makes it hard to study its wildlife and fauna

from the NYTimes, but maybe Brazil has a historical reason to worry:
Fears of biopiracy, loosely defined as any unauthorized acquisition or transport of genetic material or live flora and fauna, are deep and longstanding in Brazil. Nearly a century ago, for example, the Amazon rubber boom collapsed after Sir Henry Wickham, a British botanist and explorer, spirited rubber seeds out of Brazil and sent them to colonies in Ceylon and Malaya (now Sri Lanka and Malaysia), which quickly dominated the international market.
Living in an urban city in Brazil, I sometimes we're in the midst of of the biologically diverse country in the world.


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