UNESCO appeals from Palermo to save Socotra island

Nature paradise in Yemen at risk from climate change

27 September, 14:59

    (ANSAmed) - PALERMO, SEPTEMBER 27 - The start of a three-month UNESCO campaign called "Connect 2 Socotra", which aims to defend Yemen's Socotra island from the effects of climate change, marked the second day of the 18th International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Socotra (FoS), part of the Socotra in Sicilia initiative.

    The conference is taking place at the Botanical Gardens of Palermo and focuses on preserving the Republic of Yemen's Socotra archipelago, a nature paradise strongly at risk from climate change.

    UNESCO Doha Director Anna Paolini said the objective is to "focus attention on the island's biodiversity, which is little-known, a rarely frequented microcosm where isolation has preserved the environment, flora and fauna".

    "We're in a critical time for the planet, which is crying out in alarm. We are living well above environmental sustainability.

    There's still time to recover, but only if we do it fast. Places such as Socotra have already been damaged by recent typhoons, with erosion damage and even damage to the populations.

    Non-endemic species are being introduced, the native dracaena trees are starting to be used as fuel. A recent UN report said there are a million species in extinction," Paolini said.

    "Connect 2 Socotra also aims to spur the scientific community to continue to study, and the Yemeni community to pay attention to tourism and sustainable development," Paolini said.

    She said UNESCO is calling on the world's botanical gardens to raise funds for Socotra during the campaign and to organize initiatives such as exhibitions, film screenings, and brochures to promote the island and increase civil commitment for biodiversity.(ANSAmed).

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