Scientists have revealed that two-fifths of the world's plants are risk of extinction. This stark warning comes a piece of research called the State the World's Plants and Fungi. More than 200 scientists analysed the state of play of the world's flora 42 countries. A top botanist, Professor Alexandre Antonelli, said: "We are living an age of extinction. It's a very worrying picture of risk and urgent need action. We're losing the race time because species are disappearing faster than we can find and name them. Many of them could hold important clues for solving some the most pressing challenges of medicine and even perhaps the emerging and current pandemics we are seeing today."
There have been positive signs the past few years. More than 4,000 species plants and fungi were discovered in 2019. Among these are potential future foods that could be a lifeline to millions of people Earth suffering from poverty and food insecurity. Professor Antonelli stressed the importance protecting these and all plant life on Earth. 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 humankind." The research was released the day of a United Nations summit aimed at addressing this issue. Leading scientists will meet and insist world leaders act biodiversity loss.