5-speed listening (Plant Extinction - Level 5)

Two-fifths of world's plants at risk of extinction






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Scientists revealed that about two-fifths of the world's plants are at risk of extinction. This warning is from a piece of research called the State of the World's Plants and Fungi. Over 200 scientists analysed the condition of plants in 42 countries. A top botanist said: "We are living in an age of extinction. It's a very worrying picture of risk and urgent need for action. We're losing the race against time because species are disappearing faster....Many of them could [solve] some of the most pressing challenges of medicine and even perhaps of the emerging and current pandemics we are seeing today."

There are positive signs. Over 4,000 species of plants and fungi were discovered in 2019. These include potential future foods that could help millions of people suffering from poverty and food insecurity. The botanist said it was important to protect all plant life. He said: "We would not be able to survive without plants and fungi – all life depends on them. Every time we lose a species, we lose an opportunity for humankind." The research was released on the day of a United Nations summit. Leading scientists met to ask world leaders to act against biodiversity loss.

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