International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups

Explore the international scope of the ICBG program.

Diverse Groups

Seven ICBG's, consisting of diverse public and private institutions including universities, environmental organizations and pharmaceutical companies, are currently collaborating on multi-disciplinary projects toward the program goals.

Costa Rica

A collaboration between the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Harvard University, and the National Biodiversity Institute of Costa Rica explores the potential for new therapeutics for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and malaria from soil microbes and endophytic fungi.


Discovering new therapeutic agents while assessing conservation priorities of freshwater and marine coral reef organisms of Fiji is the focus of a collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of the South Pacific and the South Pacific Geoscience Commission.


Scientists at the Davis, Berkeley and San Francisco branches of the University of California are collaborating with the Indonesian Institute of Science, Ministry of Forestry and Bandung Institute of Technology to identify useful natural products for human health and bioenergy, while providing support for conservation and benefit sharing.


A collaboration between Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Conservation International, government agencies in Madagascar, with corporate partners Eisai Pharmaceuticals and Dow AgroSciences is the longest running ICBG project and is studying discovery opportunities from Madagascar biodiversity.


Bioprospecting from Panamanian endophytic fungi, cyanobacteria and heterotrophic bacteria for potential new pharmaceutical or agricultural products is the focus of a collaboration between the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Panama, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the University of California San Diego.

Papua New Guinea

The University of Utah in collaboration with government agencies of Papua New Guinea, the University of Miami, the Nature Conservancy and Pfizer are studying plants as sources of novel pharmaceutical and botanical therapies for local and global health needs.


Microbial symbionts of marine mollusks are being studied as potential sources of new drug leads for central nervous system, cancer and infectious diseases, or for possible novel enzymes for biofuel processing by a collaboration between the Oregon Health and Science University, University of the Phillippines, the University of Utah, the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Ocean Genome Legacy.

About the ICBG Program

The ICBG Program addresses the interdependent issues of drug discovery, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable economic growth. Efforts to examine the medicinal potential of the earth's biodiversity, including plants, animals and microorganisms are urgently needed, since enduring habitat destruction and the resulting diminishment of biodiversity will make it increasingly difficult to do so in the future. About 50% of currently used drugs in developed countries have an origin in natural products, and populations in developing countries depend almost exclusively on natural remedies. The FIC-managed Biodiversity Program is designed to guide natural products drug discovery in such a way that local communities and other source country organizations can derive direct benefits from their diverse biological resources. Benefit-sharing may provide clear incentives for preservation and sustainable use of that biodiversity.

Featured Items:
Plant Expedition

Moth close-up shows fine details of their functional antennae that serve as sensors and flight stabilizers. Photo by Arief Priyatna, Boundy-Mills ICBG, Indonesia.

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Last Updated: Jul-31-2014