To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must meet two strict criteria:
It must have at least 1,500 vascular plants as endemics — which is to say, it must have a high percentage of plant life found nowhere else on the planet. A hotspot, in other words, is irreplaceable.
It must have 30% or less of its original natural vegetation. In other words, it must be threatened.
Many of the biodiversity hotspots exceed the two criteria. For example, both the Sundaland Hotspot in Southeast Asia and the Tropical Andes Hotspot in South America have about 15,000 endemic plant species. The loss of vegetation in some hotspots has reached a startling 95 percent.
The 36 biodiversity hotspots are home to around 2 billion people, including some of the world's poorest, many of whom rely directly on healthy ecosystems for their livelihood and well-being. The hotspots provide crucial ecosystem services for human life, such as provision of clean water, pollination and climate regulation.
In 1988, British ecologist Norman Myers published a paper identifying 10 tropical forest “hotspots.” These regions were characterised both by exceptional levels of plant endemism and serious levels of habitat loss.
Over the next 20 years, additional analysis was introduced bringing the total number of biodiversity hotspots to 34. In 2011, the Forests of East Australia was identified as the 35th hotspot by a team of researchers from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) working with Conservation International. In February 2016, the North American Coastal Plain was recognised as meeting the criteria and became the Earth's 36th hotspot.
The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Hotspot is the largest biodiverse reforestation carbon sink in Australia and also the first project in Australia to achieve Premium Gold Standard Certification.
Radian supports climate projects which deliver meaningful sustainable development benefits beyond emissions reductions. As the first project in Australia to achieve Premium Gold Standard Certification, the Yarra Yarra biodiversity hotspot in Western Australia is one such project.
The Yarra Yarra Biodiversity Corridor is a multi-species native reforestation project.
A 200km green corridor in the northern Wheatbelt of Southwest Australia. The Yarra Yarra project aims to revegetate the landscape of the Corridor and return the environment to its original state while simultaneously removing carbon from the atmosphere. As such, the project delivers meaningful sustainable development benefits beyond emission reductions, earning the project Premium Gold Standard Certification. Radian supports carbon emissions reduction projects that feature the highest levels of environmental integrity and also contribute to sustainable development.As the first project in Australia to achieve Premium Gold Standard Certification, the Yarra Yarra biodiversity hotspot in Western Australia is one such project.