Letter: Conservation

Sir: The Independent recently published an article ("World conservation groups accused of putting people last in rush to preserve endangered plant and animal species", 15 September), which reported an accusation by the group Survival International regarding the bioprospecting project which Conservation International helped establish among the Saramaka Maroon people of Suriname's rain forest.

As in all of CI's projects, the foundation of our work begins with the local people. In Suriname, CI helped establish the bioprospecting project as a means for the country to benefit economically from its biologically rich rain forest without cutting it down.

The Maroon people of Suriname are Conservation International's partners in an ongoing effort to prevent the wholesale destruction of Suriname's rain forests.

Lisa Bowen

Media Relations Director

Conservation International