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Global 200: Places That Must Survive

Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle

NOW, more than ever before, we are aware of the fragility of Earth’s ecosystems. Indeed, we may even go so far as to acknowledge our part in this sorry state of affairs. But do we care enough to do something about it? Global 200: Places That Must Survive might just be the spur we need.

This beautiful book, part of the World Wildlife Fund ecoregional conservation project, takes us to those areas that encompass the greatest biodiversity on Earth; areas such as the Mediterranean Basin and Borneo’s Peat Swamp; the Northwestern Australian Deserts and the Great Barrier Reef; and many, many more.

Page after page of remarkable images by some of the world’s top photographers will leave you in no doubt as to the beauty and diversity of each region, while accompanying texts from experts in the field of natural science will certainly provide food for thought.

For example, did you know that even though many large areas of the East African Acacia Savannas are protected, poaching still continues, seriously endangering species such as the black rhino, the African elephant and many antelopes? It’s the same in the Sundarbans Mangroves of India where tigers also face the added threat of habitat loss.

Global 200 also suggests solutions – some obvious, others not so – the control of invasive species, for instance, such as domestic animals (pigs, dogs, cats and so on) which pose a threat to native flora and fauna. This is particularly significant in places like the Galapagos Islands, which are home to a variety of species not found anywhere else in the world.

Global 200 is beautifully presented, with many full and double page spreads. More importanty though, it is “an invitation to conserve and cherish diversity… attempt to avoid the future scenario of having to view nature through the pages of a book.” Personally, I can think of no better way than this armchair trip round the world.

You might also be interested to know that one Euro from every sale of the book goes to the World Wildlife Fund for their campaign to protect the world’s endangered ecoregions.