Hot Spots are the richest areas of life on the planet.
They cover only 2.3 percent of the Earth’s surface, but account for more than 50 percent of all plant and animal species.
The term was coined by Norman Myers in 1989, an acclaimed British Environmentalist, who used it to describe ten tropical forest “hot spots” characterized by exceptional levels of biodiversity and serious levels of habitat destruction.
Conservation International took Norman’s idea global in 1990, identifying “hot spots” in areas of the world it felt had been overlooked. After an intensive three-year study looking at all regions on earth, they introduced quantitative thresholds for the designation of hot spots:
1. Must contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants (over 50% percent of the world’s total)
2. Lost at least 70 percent of its original habitat
World Wildlife Fund has since done the same, with its “Global 200” initiative.
Inspired by Norman’s original vision, The Forecastle Foundation is focused on “hot spot” projects in tropical habitats in Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia. We believe that these areas, in addition to their wealth of species, are most important due to their role in regulating global climate stabilization.
Tropical Hot Spots
Tropical Forests are the world’s lungs.
They are greatest source of the air that we breathe, generating 20% of all oxygen while absorbing vast amounts of carbon dioxide.
By conserving them, we effectively create an oxygen machine and carbon trap. Moreso, we preserve important natural resources we all use on a daily basis, derived from hot zones. This includes food, medicine, cosmetics, soap, wood, paper, detergents, and countless other consumer products.
Unsustainable consumption in the first world coupled with crushing poverty in the third world are destroying these vital areas.
It is critical we get out front of these problems that affect each and every one of us.
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