Megadiversity is a concept first proposed in a paper at the Smithsonian's 1988 Biodiversity Conference. This approach looks at biodiversity priorities by political units, in this case sovereign nations, rather than by ecosystems. It recognizes that a very small number of units (17 countries out of a global 200+) are home to an inordinately large share of the world's biodiversity (USA, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, India, Madagascar, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Philippines, Papua New Guinea and Australia). Most of the megadiversity areas are large, but several, such as those in Madagascar, the Philippines, and Ecuador pack high diversity into relatively small land areas. Obviously, they have enormous responsibility. At the same time, they should consider this biodiversity to be one of their most important long-term economic assets.The book contains over 500 magnificent full colour photographs of flagship animal and plant species, of rare and unique species, as well as the human cultures that flourished thanks to their natural wealth. One of the best books NHBS has ever seen.
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