A study recently completed by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, United Kingdom, together with colleagues at the Natural History Museum in London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has revealed that about 22% of plant species, or one in five throughout the world, are in jeopardy.
The report, “Sampled Red List Index for Plants,” evaluated 7,000 plant species considered representative of the 380,000 species thought to exist in the world. Along with the alarming indication of loss, the threat to the plants’ existence was found to originate overwhelmingly from human activities such as deforestation, agriculture and livestock grazing.
The survey’s findings will be presented at next month’s United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in Japan, where the scientists will be recommending that new goals with limits be placed on biodiversity loss.
Royal Botanic Gardens Director Stephen Hopper stated, “We cannot sit back and watch plant species disappear – plants are the basis of all life on Earth, providing clean air,water, food and fuel.
All animal and bird life depends on them, and so do we.” Many thanks, Director Hopper and other participating researchers at Royal Botanic Gardens, Natural History Museum in London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for your extensive work that reveals the alarming loss of precious plant life on our planet.
May we act quickly in showing our care for these vital contributors to life on Earth, to ensure their survival and our own. The need for gentler stewardship of our fragile ecosphere is a message that has frequently been emphasized by Supreme Master Ching Hai, as in the following excerpt from an April 2009 videoconference in South Korea.