East Africa’s Albertine Rift needs protection now, scientists say
The Albertine Rift in East Africa is home to more than 500 species of plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet.
Created by the stretching apart of tectonic plates, the unique ecosystems of the Albertine Rift are also under threat from encroaching human population and climate change.
A new report details a plan to protect the landscapes that make up the Rift at a cost of around $21 million per year — a bargain rate, scientists argue, given the number of threatened species that could be saved.
The equatorial ecosystems of the Albertine Rift are packed with plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth. Formed as tectonic plates in eastern Africa have slowly pulled away from each other for millions of years, the unique habitats in this epicenter of biodiversity have rapidly come under threat in recent decades from conflict, poverty and a booming human population.