Issue: Contributions of land to human life - Medicines and other potentially useful biological compounds from terrestrial sources
This is an issue under the Land theme of the Data Reporting System.
The land contributes many benefits to human life but extracting those contributions can exert pressures on the land environment. Environmental degradation resulting from these and other pressures could ultimately erode the land’s capacity to supply these benefits. In the shorter term, the additional effort needed to obtain these contributions in the face of environmental degradation could exert even greater and more damaging long-term pressure on the environment.
To have the full story, it is therefore important to track not only what is happening to the pressures, the resulting condition of the land and the societal responses but also what is happening to the contributions. If the contributions can be maintained or increased while responses are undertaken to ensure that environmental pressures are reduced and environmental condition maintained or improved, then the contributions from the land can become environmentally sustainable.
Terrestrial organisms are a source of many useful compounds that have found their way into medicines and pharmaceuticals. A greater diversity of organisms provides a greater the potential for discovery of additional useful compounds. However, many once biodiverse terrestrial areas have disappeared under agriculture, forestry and human settlements.
Additionally the harvesting of useful biological compounds can potentially place pressure on the land from which they are harvested.
- LD-10 Number of compounds from terrestrial sources at some stage of commercial development
Many terrestrial organisms are a source of potentially useful biological compounds, including medicines. Number of compounds at some stage of commercial development is indicative of the land’s past, current and potential future contribution to medicine and science.
- Land - Land condition- Condition of terrestrial species and ecological communities
- Biodiversity - Landscapes- Ecosystem diversity
- Biodiversity - Species, habitats and ecological communities- Conservation status of species and ecological communities
- Coasts and Oceans - Contributions of the coasts and oceans to human life- Medicines and other potentially useful biological compounds
- Human Settlements - Services provided by the environment to human settlements- Medicines and biological compounds