7. The Andes Mountains in South America
The Cordillera de los Andes is a mountain chain that extends throughout South America, from Bolivia to Chile, bordering the Pacific coast. This place represents one percent of all the land on the planet and six percent of its plant life. In this region there are countless endemic animals, such as the Andean bear and the yellow-tailed woolly, on the brink of extinction. Rich in biodiversity and natural resources, the mountain range is subject to human exploitation, which has caused deforestation of its forests and the loss of habitats for many animals and plants.
6. The island of Madagascar in East Africa
On the eastern coast of Africa is the island of Madagascar, home to millions of people. Plants and birds unique to the planet also live there, as well as a large number of lemurs that do not exist anywhere else. Because of the ravages of man, only seventeen percent of the original vegetation is preserved, and foreign species have invaded the island, eliminating the native flora and fauna.
5. The island of Borneo in Southeast Asia
The island of Borneo is a beautiful and lush island that divides Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. The famous Bornean orangutan, pygmy elephants and the Sumatran rhinoceros are endemic there, all on the brink of extinction. Every year new species are discovered in it that prove the high biodiversity of this ecosystem. However, its tropical forests are highly threatened by the loss of hectares due to indiscriminate logging, palm plantations and forest fires.
4. The Mediterranean basin in Europe
The coastline that surrounds the Mediterranean has been the site of human settlements throughout the ages. In the Mediterranean basin there is a biodiversity that far exceeds that of the entire European continent. It would not occur to us to think that this place could disappear and, nevertheless, the continuous human activity? Tourist facilities, deforestation, fires, grazing? they have been destroying more than 90% of the vegetation in this area. Two of the most threatened animals on the planet live there: the Iberian lynx and the Mediterranean monk seal.
3. The Great Barrier Reef in Asia
One of the reefs most vulnerable to human abuse is the Great Barrier Reef in Asia. As the marine biodiversity is so rich, the people of the region live off the fish they catch and other aquatic animals. The result is that the reefs in this area are considerably damaged. On the other hand, climate change with its high temperatures and extreme conditions produces the so-called coral bleaching.
2. The Amazon in South America
The Amazon is that great jungle that extends through the central and northern part of South America. Suffice it to say that one in ten known animal species live in this lush and wonderful place. If its environment and climate are slightly altered, countless ecosystems could be destroyed and, in turn, cause tons of carbon dioxide to escape into the atmosphere. 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been lost to alarming deforestation.
1. The Himalayan Mountains in Asia
And finally, we can include among the most vulnerable places on the planet the Himalayan Mountain Range, in Asia, home to the highest elevations in the world, as is the case of Mount Everest. Unique species such as the red panda, the snow leopard, the Ganges dolphin and the Bengal tiger make their home there. It is an extraordinary site populated by diverse species, but unfortunately it can disappear under the pressure of humans who are destroying it through deforestation and illegal hunting of animals. Climate change has also caused the ice that surrounds the high peaks of the mountains to melt.
Without a doubt, the 7 most vulnerable places on Earth are great alarm signals for the human beings that currently inhabit the planet. Our responsibility is to prevent them from perishing. We owe it to the future.