Exploring the medical potential of the nature reserves instead of chopping them down
As big pharmaceutical companies turn their focus on the worlds rainforests and other nature reserves new questions arise and new challenges has to be solved.
Most people agree that it must be much better to explore the rainforests to develop medicine that can save life, than to burn and chop it down. And most also agree that the very rich and potent pharmaceutical companies might be a good allied against the more destructive interests of the mining and clear-cutting industry, that is also turning towards the worlds nature reserves with a hungry look.
The reason the pharmaceutical companies is so interested is because many new drugs and chemical substances that can be used in healing and helping people, originates from these places, and are even known by the local ingenious people. By understanding these cultures and by exploring these substances, the medical industry hopes to make new and better drugs to be sold on a global scale.
The challenges begin when the pharmaceutical companies starts to look into patenting the use of new species and want to close areas off to others. And when they also begin to refuse to share their knowledge and take steps to stop the indigenous populations to continue their traditional alternative use of the same substances, they can be seen as more problematic participants in the efforts to save the potential understanding of a world that is in risk of vanishing.
But those challenges can be solved and with the technological explosion that make sharing and combining this new knowledge possible, to a better future for all. It has to be solved… But if the rainforests, the indigenous knowledge, and nature reserves vanish, because the traditional cultures has been moved and the forests chopped, down, ripped open for mining and polluted, or turned into monoculture-industrial farming – then there is nothing left to solve…
By Frits Ahlefeldt