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July 13, 2017. Life / A Gift of Nature

Megadiverse Countries

Gerardo Ceballos, Ph.D, Nigel J.Collar, Dr. Tracy Farrel, Bárbara Goettsch, Vance Martin, Roderic Mast, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Cristina Goetsch Mittermeier, Russell A. Mittermeier, Fabian Oberfeld, Trevor Sandwith, Dr. Jane Smart, Dr. Richard Sneider, Gregory S. Stone & Michael P. Totten

As more and more species become endangered and ecosystems continue to fragment, we must continue to find ways to set priorities for our limited conservation resources.  The concept of megadiverse countries, first used in the 1990s, is an invaluable tool for determining which countries are the wealthiest, not just for terrestrial biodiversity, but also for marine and freshwater diversity and – equally important– for the diversity of human cultures.

The megadiversity approach recognizes that biodiversity is by no means evenly distributed on our planet, and some countries, especially in the tropics, have a far greater concentration of biodiversity than others.

 Because of the total number of species they harbor as endemics, Brazil and Indonesia are the top two countries for global biodiversity, but Colombia, Mexico, Australia, Madagascar, China, Philippines, India, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, United States, Venezuela, Malaysia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo all play a critical role in the global efforts to conserve our planet´s biodiversity.


This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Conservation Series Book A GIFT OF NATURE (2012)


A Gift of Nature

Twenty Years of Conservation & Photography

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