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article imageNew plan aims to protect Mediterranean biodiversity hotspots

By Subir Ghosh     Oct 3, 2010 in Environment
An alliance of conservationists and international donors have unveiled a map of six priority areas on the Mediterranean rim aimed at guiding policy for preserving precious habitats and threatened species.
The 251-page ecosystem profile was launched last week by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), whose constituents include the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Government of Japan, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and Conservation International..
The document highlights six "priority areas" that seeks to encourage protection against human incursion, unsustainable tourism, water extraction, pollution and other perils.
Guven Eken of Turkey's nature association, Doga Dernegi, which led the work, said the Mediterranean was "hugely complicated" for conservation work. "It (the document) covers 34 countries with numerous different languages, alphabets, cultures and religions," Eken said in a press release. "The region is also seriously threatened, with only five per cent of native habitat remaining... Much damage has already been done, but finally we have a strategy which transcends national boundaries and can protect this incredible place."
The six priority areas identified by CEPF are:
1. Cyrenaican Peninsula in Egypt and Libya
2. Mountains, Plateaus, and Wetlands of the Algerian Tell and Tunisia
3. The Atlas Mountains in Morocco
4. The Orontes Valley and Lebanon Mountains in Lebanon, Syria, Turkey
5. The Southwest Balkans in Albania, FYR Macedonia, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia
6. The Taurus Mountains in Turkey
The Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot is the second largest hotspot in the world and the largest of the world’s five Mediterranean-climate regions. The hotspot covers more than 2 million sq km that stretches west to east from Portugal to Jordan and north to south from northern Italy to Cape Verde. It is the third richest hotspot in terms of plant diversity.
The Taurus Mountains in Turkey
The Taurus Mountains in Turkey
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