Introduction, context, methods and trends
The ICBG projects have been established as a unique effort that addresses interdependent issues of biological exploration and discovery, socioeconomic benefits, and biodiversity conservation. The biodiscovery activities are broad in scope and are described in the memoranda between the partners as 'a scientific research collaboration to investigate the biological chemical and medicinal properties of the biodiversity of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and to establish economic value thereof'. The project has a secondary emphasis on documentation and preservation of traditional medicinal plant knowledge in PNG. In 1998, the PNG Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) established the PNG BioNET: an organisation of PNG scientists and government officials advisory to the DEC on assessment, use and development of PNG biological resources. The ICBG collaboration was influential in bringing together stakeholders in workshops to discuss issues relating to access and benefit-sharing (ABS), and the role of the PNG BioNET.