Yemen Is Losing Its Paradise of Socotra Archipelago

September 26, 2018

The Socotra archipelago is certainly one of the most majestic places in Yemen. It is also one of the last places where one can find the dragon’s blood trees, scientifically known as dracaena cinnabari. Characterized by its dense canopy, shaped like an umbrella, and its red sap, the tree is just one of the reasons why Socotra is unique in its beauty. Unfortunately, the tree is a critically vulnerable species, threatened with extinction.

To make the situation worse, there has been a shortage of new growth. As such, there is a worrying decline in the numbers of these trees. According to a conservation biologist, there is a lack of new growth around the edges of the core habitat of the trees. The biologist believes that this is due to a combination of various major factors, including climate change.

Socotra was declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage List natural site back in 2008. Every landscape in this fascinating archipelago is surreally beautiful, filled with wonders that cannot be seen elsewhere. Consisting of 4 islands, the archipelago is home to over 800 rare species of flora and fauna. A third of these species are endemic which means they cannot be found anywhere else on Earth.

Socotra is one of the most important centers in the world when it comes to biodiversity. It possesses elements not only of Asia and Africa but also Europe.

The challenges being faced by the biodiversity of the region are relatively recent. After all, Socotra remained inaccessible for centuries. It was as recent as 1999 that the first paved roads were put in place.

The international community must work together to ensure the continued protection of Socotra.