Megadiverse is a term that applies to territories that include a significant amount of native ecosystems hosting an exceptional level of biodiversity.
Interesting notes on the term megadiverse
- The term megadiverse is directly related to biodiversity, which is the variety of life forms. The countries defined as megadiverse account for about 70% of the planet’s total biodiversity;
- There are 17 countries defined as megadiverse by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme, including Peru and Mexico, and they are concentrated in the tropical zones of the planet.
- In 2002, the Group of Megadiverse Countries was created in Mexico with the aim of fostering the exchange of best practices, information and cooperation for the conservation of biodiversity.
Megadiverse countries are characterised by a great variety of landscapes, soils and climates that are in turn related to the abundance of different forms of life, animals and plant, which make up biodiversity. Generally, the size of a country favours the presence of more variety, but this is not a golden rule. Among the countries defined as mega-diverse by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre of the United Nations Environment Programme are Brazil, China and Australia, but also Ecuador and Costa Rica.
These countries are important strongholds for the recovery and conservation of biodiversity, a treasure chest of enormous riches that benefits ecosystems and climate around the world. In the case of islands, one often encounters species that are literally unique.
However, many threats hang over most of these countries, often including deforestation, unsustainable resource management, hunting of endangered species and intensive agriculture. Across all the different contexts, climate change is an overarching menace with its impact on the very health and integrity of ecosystems.