Temporary Solution to Type needs

Sat Jul 15 20:52:30 CDT 1995

Although it will not address the ultimate repatriation issue, I suggest that
much of the heat is fueled by people not being able to get access to types of
species that occur in their country/region.  The holding institution that
does not loan a type is (I believe) mostly worried about the safety of the
type, since it can be seen as a trust-holder for science.

The major source of worry in loans today (again, I believe) is reliability of
mail service.  Instead of the divisive issue of actual repatriation, why don't
we look for alternative delivery systems?
One method, image transfer, has received excellent, and productive exposure
here, but as has been pointed out, sometimes only the actual specimen will

On a back-channel discussion, the idea arose of getting a large trust fund
to cover courier service, round trip, for specimens (type and other-wise)
needed in countries with questionable mail service.  What would this community
think of a multi-national (the more the better) proposal to the World Bank's
Green Fund to set up such a system?  Then, any institution that signed a
general agreement on return of types and specimens could request a loan that
would be delivered by one of the courier services (like DHL), and the return
cost via the same mechanism would be paid also?

This fund could go a long way, for very little cost, of meeting the concerns
of all parties.  I find it hard to believe that a proposal supported in
writing by hundreds of museums and systematists from scores of countries
couldn't get a sponsor at the World Bank.  I think (without real basis)
that a trust fund of one million US$ would yield enough to cover our needs.

If anyone thinks this is a good idea, please examine my assumptions above,
and the size of fund pposed, and respond as to the feasibility of this

Michael A. Ivie

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