Published: Sunday 15 November 1998

Just 17 countries collectively claim more than two-thirds of the Earth's biological resources within their borders. And this makes these nations' conservation efforts extremely critical for the survival of -most of the world's plant and j animal species, according to data released by US-based Conservation International in a book titled Megadiversity: Earth's Biologically Wealthiest Nations. The US and Australia are the only developed nations on the list. The other coun- ; are Brazil, China, Colombia, | Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Papua New Guinea and Venezuela. This list was compiled from the global total of more than 200 nations. "Just as the G-7 countries concentrate a major portion of the planet's economic wealth, the B-17, or Biodiversity-17, have within them most of the planet's biological wealth," says Russel A Mittermeier, president. Conservation International.

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