Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Bioprospecting charges take their toll on Mexican research

Researchers studying indigenous plant varieties have been forced to stop their work in Southern Mexico, despite various efforts to involve the indigenous community in understanding the scientific and conservation goals of their research.

US scientists investigating plant species in the Chiapas region of Mexico set up plays to explain their research to local people, in an attempt to avoid the accusations of biopiracy that have dogged similar projects.

But a government review of Mexico’s bioprospecting legislation, in addition to the claims of some environmentalist groups that the plays were a smokescreen to obscure commercial interests behind the scientists’ work, have forced the researchers to retreat home.

Reference: Nature 414, 685 (2001)

Link to full text
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.