Biopiracy and Biodiversity Conservation

by Mariah Tso

Biodiversity conservation is a global problem, particularly with respect to data availability and access, and the lack of it is being exacerbated by climate change. At the global scale, key barriers to the collection and compilation of biodiversity information have yet to be identified. Tatsuya Amano and William J. Sutherland (2013) identify and discuss how wealth, language, geographical location, and security explain various spatial variations in data availability in four different types of biodiversity databases. The authors found that countries with high numbers of biodiversity records are also high in per capita gross domestic product (GDP), proportion of English speakers, security levels, and are located close to the country hosting the database. However these countries with better records don’t necessarily have high biodiversity. The authors claim that these factors affect data availability by hindering scientific research activities and/or international communications and have caused an under collection of biodiversity data from biodiversity-rich countries. They conclude that efforts to overcome these barriers should focus on scientific education, communication, research, and collaboration in low-GDP countries with fewer English speakers that are located far from… Continue reading