Possession at Hampton Court 2012

The world’s rainforests contain thousands of species of plants, many of which have not been described by science, let alone evaluated for their usefulness to man. Cures for many of the most serious diseases may well be contained within plants that will disappear even before we are aware of their existence. Some very useful and profitable compounds have been distilled from rainforest plants, but unfortunately the benefits of this activity are rarely felt by the indigenous rainforest people.

Possession was inspired by a Radio 4 programme about pharmaceutical companies patenting the compounds that they have synthesized from rainforest plants.

Surely the local tribes have the strongest moral claim to possession of the forest even though they would probably say that they are part of the forest and not its owner; a sentiment that we might do well to consider.