Some people are starting to wonder whether the one-by-one approach to conservation is really the right solution. With many predicting the extinction of thousands of species, Bob Smith, a researcher in conservation at the University of Kent in Britain, argues that targeting individual species is too narrow. He praises the recent trend toward identifying and branding entire regions as “flagship areas”.
Conservation International, based in Arlington, Virginia, has its biodiversity hotspots: (“the most remarkable places on earth are also the most threatened” is their slogan). These include the tropical Andes, the Brazilian Atlantic forests and Africa’s Cape floristic region. The World Wide Fund for Nature, based in Gland, Switzerland, boasts that it is “working for conservation of the world’s most fabulous places”, which it called “global ecoregions”.