The past two decades have seen growing attention given to the economic potential of biodiversity, spurred in part by dramatic scientific developments in biotechnology, such as the potential to transfer genes between species through genetic engineering, increased consumer demand for ‘natural’ products and a regulatory environment that facilitates the patenting of products and processes based on bio-diversity (Dutfield 2011; Laird and Wynberg 2012). Intended products include new drugs, climate-resilient crops, industrial processing tools and novel ingredients for the food, herbal medicine and personal care industries. These products generate significant benefits for society, financial returns for the companies producing and marketing them and a range of benefits for countries that provide the biological material.