Posted by: r.m. | October 5, 2010

new biodiversity hotspots in the Med.

An alliance of conservationists and international donors on Wednesday unveiled a map of six areas on the Mediterranean rim aimed at guiding policy for preserving precious habitats and threatened species.

The 251-page “ecosystem profile” was launched by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, including the US-based NGO Conservation International, the World Bank, the government of Japan and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

It highlights six “priority areas” that, its authors hope, will encourage protection against human incursion, unsustainable tourism, water extraction, pollution and other perils. They include more than three million hectares (6.7 million acres) of Mediterranean wetlands and desert in Egypt and Libya, home to more than 100 endemic plant species and the critically endangered Egyptian tortoise, Testudo kleinmanni. Other regions include the Atlas mountains of Morocco and the Tell Atlas of Algeria and Tunisia; the Orontes Valley and Lebanon Mountains in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey; lakes, mountains and coastlines in the Southwest Balkans; and Turkey’s Taurus Mountains, which contains examples of almost all of the Mediterranean’s varied habitats.

From the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) website:

The Mediterranean Basin is the second largest biodiversity hotspot in the world and the largest of the world’s five Mediterranean-climate regions. The hotspot covers more than 2 million square kilometers and stretches west to east from Portugal to Jordan and north to south from northern Italy to Cape Verde.  The Mediterranean Basin is the third richest hotspot in the world in terms of its plant diversity with approximately 30,000 plant species.  These represent 10 percent of the world’s flora despite the fact that only 5 percent of the natural habitat remains.  The hotspot contains more than 13,000 species that are found nowhere else. Many more are being discovered every year.

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Responses

  1. Its important to have a policy for preserving the precious habitats and threatened species in these areas, but its more important to aware the people living in these areas about the valuable species found in their areas since most of those people are ignorant for its importance!


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