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Conservationists are far from able to assist all species under threat, if only for lack of funding. This places a premium on priorities: how can we support the most species at the least cost? One way is to identify 'biodiversity hotspots' where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat. As many as 44% of all(More)
On the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, it is timely to assess progress over the 10 years since its predecessor in Rio de Janeiro. Loss and degradation of remaining natural habitats has continued largely unabated. However, evidence has been accumulating that such systems generate marked economic benefits, which the available data suggest(More)
  • Norman Myers
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…
  • 1996
Humans derive many utilitarian benefits from the environmental services of biotas and ecosystems. This is often advanced as a prime argument to support conservation of biodiversity. There is much to be said for this viewpoint, as is documented in this paper through a summary assessment of several categories of environmental services, including regulation of(More)
The mass-extinction episode underway is largely centered on tropical forests, insofar as they contain at least half of all Earth's species and they are being depleted faster than any other biome. But species distributions and depletion patterns are anything but uniform throughout the biome. This paper identifies 10 areas that a) are characterized by(More)
Sustainability requires living within the regenerative capacity of the biosphere. In an attempt to measure the extent to which humanity satisfies this requirement, we use existing data to translate human demand on the environment into the area required for the production of food and other goods, together with the absorption of wastes. Our accounts indicate(More)
A high and sustainable quality of life is a central goal for humanity. Our current socio-ecological regime and its set of interconnected worldviews, institutions, and technologies all support the goal of unlimited growth of material production and consumption as a proxy for quality of life. However, abundant evidence shows that, beyond a certain threshold,(More)
This paper aims to throw light on the mass extinction that is overtaking Earth's species. Using an analytic methodology developed for an earlier partial assessment, it focuses on a series of "hotspot" areas, these being areas that a) feature exceptional concentrations of species with high levels of endemism and b) face exceptional threats of destruction. (More)
  • Norman Myers
  • Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society…
  • 2002
There is a new phenomenon in the global arena: environmental refugees. These are people who can no longer gain a secure livelihood in their homelands because of drought, soil erosion, desertification, deforestation and other environmental problems, together with the associated problems of population pressures and profound poverty. In their desperation,(More)
Tropical forests still cover almost 8 million km squared of the humid tropics but they are being destroyed at ever-more rapid rates. In 1989, the area deforested amounted to 142,200 km squared, or nearly 90% more than in 1979. Thus, whereas the 1989 amounted total to 1.8% of the remaining biome, the proportion could well continue to rise for the (More)
For most organisms, the number of described species considerably underestimates how many exist. This is itself a problem and causes secondary complications given present high rates of species extinction. Known numbers of flowering plants form the basis of biodiversity "hotspots"--places where high levels of endemism and habitat loss coincide to produce high(More)