|Biodiversity Prospecting - A World Resources Institute Book (WRI, 1993, 352 pages)|
|VII. Policy Options for Scientific and Technological Capacity-Building|
The policy of establishing unfocused across-the-board biotechnological expertise is bound to fail. All that would result would be a rigid scientific bureaucracy isolated from economic production, poised to consume large quantities of scarce resources, and unable to produce research closely related to developmental needs.
Conversely, biotechnology policy targeted at specific "windows of economic opportunity" could give rise to the technological dynamism necessary for long-term economic development, conservation, and equity in resource management. With such an approach, links between research and production can occur faster and more naturally. Technological capabilities in biodiversity prospecting can also serve other areas of economic output and environmental management. (For example, funds derived from prospecting or investment aimed at facilitating prospecting may improve infrastructure - roads, water facilities, etc. Funds from prospecting could, ideally, be applied to strengthen community-based and other conservation groups; through training of para-taxonomists, one would hope that the knowledge, use value, etc. of biochemical resources would be enhanced.) At the same time, national research policy can be targeted more explicitly and given a greater chance of success. Those working in science and technology will find their work more directly valued, their own resources thereby enhanced, and, ultimately, their morale increased. Finally, the science and technology system as a whole will be able to promote economic development conservation, and equity more efficiently.
Training local communities and establishing or strengthening institutional capability will become increasingly important and will require developing states to invest in science and technology research and information dissemination and to resist the ingrained temptation to put such activities at the mercy of donor politics.