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Preserving the biodiversity of the world’s five Mediterranean-Climate regions

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Coastal fynbos thicket in False Bay, South Africa.

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Palmiet River estuary, at the centre of fynbos diversity, in South Africa’s Kogelberg Nature Reserve.

Click to enlarge

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A Cork Oak woodland with maquis behind, southern Spain.

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Chaparal and Redwood forest, Big Sur, California.

Dr Jasper Slingsby, a vegetation scientist at the SAEON Fynbos Node, has become a member of a new initiative aimed at research and management of Mediterranean-Climate ecosystems.

The International Cooperative for the Management of Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems (INCOMME) represents a consortium of organisations dedicated to preserving the extraordinary biological diversity of the world's five Mediterranean-Climate regions - Central Chile, California, Western Australia, the Mediterranean Basin and the Cape Floristic Region.

Centered on the IUCN/CEM Mediterranean-Type Ecosystem Thematic Group (MTEG), the consortium also links other organisations such as the International Society for Mediterranean Ecology (ISOMED), and the International Mediterranean Ecosystems Conference, MEDECOS XIII (slated for Chile in 2014).

Cross-disciplinary research

INCOMME and MTEG aim to promote cross-disciplinary scientific research, best practices, and information-sharing for the effective ecosystem management of Mediterranean-Climate ecosystems.

These two entities also aim to enhance education and training for future conservation professionals, and provide environmental public outreach programmes relevant to Mediterranean-climate regions.

The world's five Mediterranean-Climate regions are Central Chile, California, Western Australia, the Mediterranean Basin and the Cape Floristic Region.

The recently launched INCOMME website, developed and supported by the University of California Natural Reserve System serves as a clearinghouse for science, education, policy, and general announcements focusing on the conservation of Mediterranean-Climate ecosystems.

Other South African members of INCOMME and MTEG include Stellenbosch University Professor Karen Esler and Birdlife South Africa's Regional Conservation Manager for the Western Cape, Dale Wright.

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