In news– Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has released the State of the World’s Trees report recently.
About State of the World’s Trees report
- As per the report,17,500 tree species out of 60,000(around 30% ) known tree species face extinction.
- It says Some 142 species have already vanished from the wild, while 442 are on the very edge of extinction, with fewer than 50 individual trees remaining.
- The report says that the number of threatened tree species is double the number of threatened mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles combined.
- Most risk trees: Among the most at-risk trees are species including magnolias and dipterocarps, which are commonly found in Southeast Asian rainforests.
- Oak trees, maple trees and ebonies also face threats.
- Top 6 countries with highest risk:
- It revealed that thousands of varieties of trees in the world’s top six countries for tree-species diversity are at risk of extinction.
- The greatest single number is in Brazil, where 1,788 species are at risk.
- The other five countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Colombia and Venezuela.
- Climate change and extreme weather are emerging threats.
- At least 180 tree species are directly threatened by rising seas and severe weather, especially island species such as magnolias in the Caribbean.
- Though megadiverse countries see the greatest numbers of varieties at risk of extinction, island tree species are more proportionally at risk.
- The biggest threats to trees globally are:
- Forest clearance for crops (impacting 29% of species).
- Timber logging (27%).
- Clearance for livestock grazing or farming (14%).
- Clearance for development (13%).
- Fire (13%).
- Energy production & mining(9%).
- Wood & pulp plantation(6%).
- Invasive & other problematic species(5%).
- Climate change(4%).
Trees at particular risk of extinction include:
- Large tropical trees known as dipterocarps that are being lost due to the expansion of palm oil plantations
- Oak trees lost to farming and development in parts of Mexico, Chile and Argentina
- Ebony and rosewood trees being felled for timber in Madagascar
- Magnolia trees at threat from unsustainable plant collecting
- Trees such as ash that are dying from pests and diseases in the UK and North America
The experts are calling for a number of actions, including:
- Preserving existing forests and expanding protected areas (currently at least 64% of all tree species can be found in at least one protected area)
- Keeping threatened species in botanic gardens or seed banks in the hope they can one day be returned to the wild (currently about 30% of all trees are backed up in this way)
- Providing education to ensure reforestation and tree planting schemes are carried out scientifically, with the right tree in the right place, including rare and threatened species
- Increasing funding for tree conservation.
Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI)
- BGCI is a membership organisation, representing botanic gardens in more than 100 countries around the world.
- It is an independent UK charity established in 1987 to link the botanic gardens of the world in a global network for plant conservation.
- Its vision is a world in which plant diversity is valued, secure and supporting all life.