Essay about Latin America International Cooperative Biodiversity Group

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Mission and Background
The Latin American International Cooperative Biodiversity Group program (LA ICBG) was established to study semi-arid region biodiversity in Meso and South America in the hopes of discovering natural products suitable for pharmaceutical and pesticide development. It is the first ever large-scale drug discovery study of dryland biodiversity to be undertaken following the International Convention of Biodiversity. Initial findings from the study of semi-arid plants demonstrate potentials for medicines that would target infectious disease and cardiovascular and central nervous system disorders to name a few. However, of equal importance is the project's ability to foster and encourage conservation and sustainable
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These specimens are dried and sent to the lab for batch screening. If a potentially useful chemical agent surfaces during the screening analysis of a particular plant, further sampling and analysis will be conducted on that plant species.

2) Targeted collection isolates specific plants for study by utilizing the local ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal knowledge of the indigenous and local people. Ethnobotanical knowledge consists of the traditional uses of specific plants to treat common ailments or diseases. Ancient Chinese herbal remedies would fall into this category. Ethnomedicine describes the actual methods and techniques used when treatment is administered using a particular medicine. This information helps target specific plants for detailed study. The plants "are selected… on the basis of accumulated information about what worked and what didn't work, with human beings as the guinea pig," (Rouhi, 21).

A third strategy, called 3) eco-driven searching, uses "biodiversity itself as the guinea pig," by relying on telltale signs of interactivity between organisms in nature to signal potentially useful chemical activity. For example, a group that was working in Costa Rica found that "If you are walking in a forest and you notice that fruits that have fallen from a tree just sit on the ground and don't rot, that tells you there's an antibiotic in those fruits that's keeping microorganisms away," (Rouhi, 21). All three search strategies

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