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Dwindling Biodiversity in the Tropical Rainforests: Limiting Advances in Plant-Based Medicines


17718. Dwindling Biodiversity in the Tropical Rainforests: Limiting Advances in Plant-Based Medicines

This paper provides an overview and analysis of the environmental problem of tropical rainforest destruction and the associated loss of biodiversity in the context of the development of tropical plant-based medicines. The paper includes an overview of the problem of rainforest destruction (its scope and its causes), a discussion of existing and potential tropical rainforest plant-derived pharmaceuticals, and an overview of ethnobotany and efforts to develop the pharmaceutical potential of tropical rainforest plants. It is argued that while the loss of rainforest biodiversity will have the greatest immediate negative impact on the people of the forest, in the future, this loss of biodiversity will have a negative effect on the entire world population as scientists search for effective treatments for both old diseases and newly emerging diseases. It is further argued that focusing on the “services” that tropical rainforests can potentially provide, such as new sources of medicines, should be part of the overall strategy to save the world’s rainforests. At the same time, it is noted that such a strategy needs to be implemented carefully to avoid exploitation of the rainforests and further loss of biodiversity. KEYWORDS: rainforest botanicals plant-derived medicine ethnobotany biodiversity. APA Style. 9 pages, footnotes, 18 bibliographic sources. 2,092 words.
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