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When the price is right…

Calls for environmental protection are often trumped by economic factors. As long as it remains possible for people to generate cash by poaching rhinos, they will continue to do so. By the same token, pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to voluntarily stop claiming patents on medicinal plants. Anyone simply seeking to preserve the rhino population, has nothing more than an ideal, while anyone who sets out to protect the animlas so they can charge tourists to film them, has a business plan. While Michael Altenhenne traveled to Namibia to observe the implementation of that very idea, our reporter Sonia Phalnikar explored biodiversity preservation methods that offer the same financial benefits to both international pharmceutical companies and local populations.

Next week on Global Ideas

In Peru: Fishing for a lifeline

The Amarakaeri region in south-eastern Peru’s Amazon Basin is feeling the effects of environmental erosion. As deforestation continues apace, and mercury from surrounding goldmines contaminates waterways, residents can no longer depend on woodland and rivers for survival. There is, therefore, a desperate need to generate a new source of income, and fish farming just might be one solution. It is not only a potential lifeline for the local population, but stands to benefit the environment by drawing miners and forest workers into a different, cleaner sector.