A typical case in point is Vincristine, which is extracted from the rainforest plant, periwinkle. Vincristine is one of the world's most powerful anticancer drugs. It has dramatically increased the survival rate for acute childhood leukemia since its discovery.
But scientists are racing against time to find and identify plant-based medicines. The National Cancer Institute has now identified over 3,000 plants that help fight cancer cells and many of them come from rainforests. 70% of these plants are found in the rainforest. Of the 121 drugs that have been produced from plants found in the rainforest today, 74% of them were found during research on the plant's medicinal properties.
In 1983, there were no U.S. pharmaceutical manufacturers involved in research programs to discover new drugs or cures from plants. Today, over 100 pharmaceutical companies and several branches of the US government, including giants like Merck and The National Cancer Institute, are engaged in plant research projects for possible drugs and cures for viruses, infections, cancer, and even AIDS. These companies are working with tribal healers to learn the wealth of their knowledge. Amazonian Indians are often the only ones who know both properties of the plants and know how they can best be used. Their knowledge is very important and is helpful in the conservation of the rainforest.
Amongst those companies, the Amazon Herb Company has already set a good example, the company partners with indigenous Rainforest communities to ecologically harvest herbs in order to provide an ongoing stream of revenue for the indigenous community. The communities harvest the herbs, as they have done for centuries, the Amazon Herb Company markets the herbs and sends a portion of the profit back to the communities to help them gain legal title to their land and to have resources to make new choices about their own future.
Despite these success stories, less than one percent of the plants in the world’s tropical rainforests have even been tested for their medicinal properties. Environmentalists and health care advocates alike are keen to protect the world’s remaining rainforests as storehouses for the medicines of the future.
But saving tropical rainforests is no easy task, as poverty-stricken native people try to eke out a living off the lands and many governments throughout the world’s equatorial regions, out of economic desperation as well as greed, allow destructive cattle ranching, farming and logging. As rainforest turns to farm, ranch and clear-cut, some 137 rainforest-dwelling species—plants and animals alike—go extinct every single day, according to noted Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson. Conservationists worry that as rainforest species disappear, so will many possible cures for life-threatening diseases.
The rainforests of Costa Rica contain an incredible 6% of the world's biodiversity. Costa Rica has already zoned almost 30% of its surface area as natural park and forest reserve.
James Cahill, mangaing director of Costa Rica invest, says " Costa Rica is the country that pratically invented eco-tourism and eco-tourism provides essential eduction. Eco-tourism is now a 1.9 billion dollar industry in Costa Rica and and Costa Rica is currently ranked number 5 in the world in terms of environmental performance with a plan to be Carbon Neutral as a nation by 2021. Currently planting 7 million trees per annum, more per head of population than any other country worldwide, Costa Rica has a number of reforestation and forest preservation initiatives. These initiatives will ensure that Costa Rica is doing its part to preserve our Natural Medicine Storehouse."
Judy Ferguson, Public Relations Manager further comments "within Finca DI Pacfico Dos, our unique teak and development land opportunity, 70ha are marked to remain as forest reserve, for the communal use of the plot owners, giving our owners insight into the treasures within the forests of Costa Rica."
# # #
Costa Rica Invest specialises in enironmentally friendly, ethically responsible, high yield investments, primarily in Costa Rica. Di Pacifico Dos is Costa Rica Invests current project investing in development land with the added value of teak trees.