'What we are aiming for is a radical change in conservation'
We want to drive much more money into the tropical conservation space. We aim to do this by realising the value of forests through the discovery of new chemical compounds from insects and spiders and driving a revolution in how forests and the species that live in them are valued.
Our members will be commercial pharmaceutical companies who will commit to funding both the expeditions and tropical forest conservation projects in the same locations as the expeditions. In return we will be aiming to produce compounds of interest for sale to our members of which 50% of any profits from a sale of a compound will be fed back into tropical forest conservation projects.
There is clear societal benefit to finding species new to science, compounds and drugs of use to humankind and the funding of the protection of these areas. In the longer term, once we have proven our concept we would be aiming to work with key governments to allow them to realise the revenue from this source and drive a motive to further protect and expand forest areas.
The Big questions
There are two main questions to ask when considering our model:
There are millions of insect species and they occupy every conceivable terrestrial and freshwater niche on Earth. Consequently, they have a bewildering array of interactions with other organisms, which has meant they’ve evolved an enormous variety of compounds to protect themselves or for preying on others. Using this diversity to inspire new pharmaceuticals has barely been explored.
why a corporate model?
The money available for new compounds showing pharmaceutical potential is far greater than anything that currently exists in the conservation space. By working with corporations we aim to drive responsibility for natural resources they may derive benefit from and to harness any profits made to drive the protection and expansion of forests.