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Industrial Biotechnology, 2005      Bioprospecting ethics & benefits A model for effective benefit-sharing
Leif P. Christoffersen and Eric J. Mathur
Industrial Biotechnology, 2005

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) entered into force in 1993, yet challenges and misunderstandings related to the search for new biological products and applications still exist. Diversa Corporation (San Diego, California) has developed a framework model for engaging in ethical bioprospecting in which participating countries, institutions, and corporate stakeholders all benefit, with minimal conflict or disagreement. This model involves securing legal access and providing equitable benefits for access to both terrestrial and marine biodiversity. Moreover, Diversa has developed products that have resulted in some of the first royalties ever paid from such bioprospecting activities. These products are not only generated through strong ethical principles, such as Prior Informed Consent (PIC) and equitable benefit-sharing, but they also play a role in reducing pollution. This paper provides important insights into how bioprospecting can lead to economic, scientific, and environmental benefits.

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