Temporary Solution to Type needs

MICHAEL A. IVIE ueymi at MSU.OSCS.MONTANA.EDU
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
do.

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
proposal.


Michael A. Ivie




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