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○○The Earth Story○○

Over two-hundred miles off the coast of Yemen is the small archipelago of Socotra, or Suqatra. The island measures approximately 130 km by 50 km, and is 1,500 m tall at the highest elevation. Socotra is widely known for its amazing biodiversity, where over 300 of its plant species, and the vast majority of its reptile species, are endemic- found nowhere else in the world. Of the unusual vegetation on Socotra, one tree species attracting attention is the pictured Dragon Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari), named for the dark red sap that the tree produces. The island and surrounding water also provide a home for coral, lobsters, shrimp, and coastal fish.

From the United Nations Development Program and the Government of the Republic of Yemen, the Socotra Governance and Biodiversity Project was created in 2009 to protect the important biodiversity of the archipelago, and to sustainably manage human development on the island. Of the notable g
oals of the project, Socotra strives to stay away from the typical tourist lifestyle with grand ocean-front beach resorts, and instead maintain its eco-identity.

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