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The urgent need to ensure the conservation of biological diversity is now widely recognised, but practical measures to protect endangered species and habitats are still carried out on a small scale and generally limited to developed countries. This volume provides a detailed analysis of the economic and scientific rationales for biodiversity conservation. It discusses the justification for, and implementation of intellectual property rights regimes as incentive systems to encourage conservation. An interdisciplinary approach is used in the book, encompassing fields of study that include evolutionary biology, chemistry, economics and legal studies. The arguments are presented using the case study of the use of medicinal plants in the pharmaceutical industry. The book will be of interest and relevance to a broad spectrum of conservationists, from research students to policy makers.