Experts warn of ‘alarming loss’ of biodiversity in Tropics

Madrid, Jun 28 (EFE).- The Amazonian rainforest lost 2.3 million hectares last year, a conservationist group warned on Monday, highlighting the plight of the world’s Tropics, which are home to 80% of all the species in the world.

This “alarming” loss speeds up climate change, the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project said on the eve of the International Day of the Tropics.

Despite the huge biodiversity found in the Earth’s tropical regions, many of its species are endangered due to climate change, deforestation and logging, making it the area with the highest rate of biodiversity loss on the planet.

The Tropics, which span the center of the globe between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, are home to rich areas of the natural world in countries like Brazil, Panama, Colombia, Thailand, Lagos, Indonesia and Malaysia among others.

Among the most characteristic areas of the tropical region are the mangroves, a unique ecosystem formed by trees or shrubs that grow in saltwater and live semi-submerged in the intertidal zone of the tropical or subtropical coasts.

Mangroves are highly sensitive to variations in environmental conditions, which makes climate change their main threat.

These ecosystems are “adapted to very special conditions of salinity, water level, substrate and climate, which are being altered, affecting the functioning of the mangroves very negatively,” Diana Colomina, the Forest Coordinator of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), told Efe.

They play “a fundamental role” in the fight against climate change, as they are capable of absorbing up to five times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial forests, she added. EFE


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