How do we promote global economic development, while simultaneously preserving local biological and cultural diversity? This authoritative volume, written by leading legal experts and biological and social scientists from around the world, aims to address this question in all of its complexity. The first part of the book focuses on biodiversity and examines what we are losing, why and what is to be done. The second part addresses biotechnology and looks at whether it is part of the solution or part of the problem, or perhaps both. The third section examines traditional knowledge, explains what it is and how, if at all, it should be protected. The fourth and final part looks at ethnobotany and bioprospecting and offers practical lessons from the vast and diverse experiences of the contributors.