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The biogeographic region of Macaronesia comprises three volcanic archipelagos (Azores, Madeira and Canary Islands) in the Atlantic Ocean with large differences in habitats and species diversity among islands and groups of islands, subject to a climate that is heavily influenced by the ocean. The level of endemism on these islands is high, both in plants and animals. Agriculture and tourism industry have caused severe impact on biodiversity, leading to several endangered species, especially among sea birds.
At the international level:
There is a total of 334 species listed for the region of Macaronesia in IUCN’s red list as endangered or vulnerable (http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/link/5367a00d-95c87e63).
The total surface area of the Sites of Community Importance officially adopted under the Habitats Directive is 5,340 km2 (3,292 km2 in terrestrial areas and 2,048 km2 in marine areas). Therefore, 39 % of the terrestrial area of the Canary Islands, 29 % of the Madeira and 10 % of the Azores contribute to the European Natura 2000 network.
One BEST project has been funded in the region so far. The BEST initiative will allow a crucial assessment of priorities in biodiversity conservation in Macaronesia, highlighting its value in European and global terms. The strategies to be developed are essential to focus research and management efforts and to direct funds to where their application can have the highest positive impact. This initiative is a unique combination of geographical representativeness and institutional diversity and expertise with the aim of identifying synergies, exploring complementarities and developing joint initiatives towards the common goal of smart management of tropical and subtropical biodiversity in support of sustainable development. In addition BEST will capitalize other European projects such as the European research NETBIOME ERA-Net projects  , the NETBIOME-CSA.