Thursday: Global Hotspots

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Coral_reef

As Geography Awareness Week 2008 passes the mid-week hump, our
goal is to round out the week with some of geography’s most practical and
relevant info.

Today we focus on global hotspots – places around the world
where change puts pressure on local communities (human, natural, or both), and
often leads to conflict. Each global hotspot has its own set of economic,
social and political factors, making an issue like deforestation in Brazil different than deforestation in the Congo. While environmental concerns, human rights issues, and political strife are global
crises, the individual stories behind each headlining problem are specific to
place.

The inherent tension and challenging implications of global
hotspots causes these phenomena to garner significant attention from academia
and in the media. This is why we dedicate a whole day to global hotspots during Geography
Awareness Week.

Make sure you check out our Google Earth tour of global hotspots,
featuring issues like coral bleaching in the Caribbean and the race to claim the North Pole. 
You can then check out an interactive map of biodiversity
hotspots
and visit the World
Wildlife Fund
to learn more about environmental issues.   Read
about what’s being done to solve these issues through the World Wildlife
Fund’s list of 19 priority projects,
and sign the UN
Foundation’s Youth Climate Pledge
to prevent environmental hotspots from threatening
future generations.

In addition to environmental issues, there many cultures that
can be considered “endangered” due to the pressures caused by rapid
globalization.  Check out Living Tongues to read about language
extinction, and then take a look at the language
hotspots
around the world.  See what
non-profits like the Asia Society are
doing to foster cultural communication and prevent the development of cultural
hotspots into the future.

Keep checking back today for more info on global hotspots!

Image courtesy CoralReefInfo.com

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One response to “Thursday: Global Hotspots

  1. Great week of celebrating geography, thanks MWW! I just returned from a trip to see polar bears along the Hudson Bay in Manitoba. They are waiting for the Bay to ice-over so that they can walk out on the Bay and hunt their favorite food–seals–through holes in the ice. I learned on my visit that the Bay takes an estimated one week longer to freeze every year, and thaws approximately one week earlier in the spring. The bears are losing roughly two weeks of hunting/eating time. I guess that area is what you would call a Hotspot!
    Have you seen the adventure learning web site for Go North! ? http://www.polarhusky.com. The Go North! Team travels by dogsled to a different part of the Arctic every year. Cool way to learn!
    Thanks again for a great web site for geography!

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