Shortly major global media: BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Gulf News, Süddeutsche Zeitung,
TIMES Magazine, to name a few, wrote about the tragedy of a dying environment.
Kathy Willis, KEW, London: „Raising public awareness can be more complicated than warning
about threats to African elephants or Bengal tigers. I do find it extraordinary we worry
about the state of the world’s birds but we don’t worry about the state of the world’s plants.”
A TRIBUTE TO FLOWERS – PLANTS UNDER PRESSURE
The art project is an exhibition based on a dying biological world.
Considering the striking fact, that we are about to lose a majority of plant species within
the time line of just one generation, my art work is a substantial necessity.
Biological diversity is an invaluable and irreplaceable resource,
therefore we need to preserve our environment, and create awareness in striking artistic
approach before a profound majority of flora will be lost. Unbelievable but true,
one in five of worlds plant species are at risk of extinction (IUCN Red Lists). At the beginning
of the 21st century we are losing our fundamentals, without we simply cannot exist.
As an artist I believe in the power of art to educate and to transform, to instigate new modes
of thought, and to enrich people through novel forms of experience.
I therefore have dedicated my life to create awareness in this issue with striking,
magnificent photographic masterpieces of art. At this point nature demands the voice of a
renown artist, as blossoms have no voice, and it is up to us
to claim their aspiration of life for mankind.
THE EXTINCTION CRISIS – Center for Biological Diversity, USA
It’s frightening but true: Our planet is now in the midst of its sixth mass
extinction of plants and animals – the sixth wave of extinctions in the past half-billion years.
We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of species die-offs since the loss
of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon,
it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year.
Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate,
with literally dozens going extinct every day. It could be a scary future indeed,
with as many as 30 to 50 percent of all species possibly heading
toward extinction by mid-century.
Unlike past mass extinctions, caused by events like asteroid strikes, volcanic eruptions,
and natural climate shifts, the current crisis is almost entirely caused by us — humans.
In fact, 99 percent of currently threatened species are at risk from human activities, primarily
those driving habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, and global warming
to snowball in the coming decades as ecosystems unravel.
Through photosynthesis, plants provide the oxygen we breathe and the food
we eat and are thus the foundation of most life on Earth.
They’re also the source of a majority of medicines in use today. Of the more than 300,000
known species of plants, the IUCN has evaluated only 12,914 species,
finding that about 68 percent of evaluated plant species are
threatened with extinction.
Unlike animals, plants can’t readily move as their habitat is destroyed, making them particularly
vulnerable to extinction. Indeed, one study found that habitat destruction leads to an
“extinction debt,” whereby plants that appear dominant will exacerbate this problem.
Already, scientists say, warming temperatures are causing quick and dramatic
changes in the range and distribution of plants around the world.
With plants making up the backbone of ecosystems and the base of the food chain,
that’s very bad news for all species, which depend on plants for food, shelter, and survival.
PLANTS UNDER PRESSURE – Center for Tropical Conservation, Duke University, USA
Almost half of all plant species could be facing extinction,
according to new research by botanists in the United States.
Until now the official tally of endangered plants, compiled by the World Conservation
Union, has suggested that only about one in eight plant species could
disappear. But the researchers, writing in the journal Science, now believe
this figure to be a gross underestimate. They say the old assessment does not
include a reliable tally of species at risk in the tropical latitudes, where most of the world’s plants
grow. Nigel Pitman and Peter Jorgensen say the world is teetering on the edge of an extinction
crisis, as more and more plants disappear each year. Jorgensen suggests that in the
worst case scenario almost half the world’s plants are at risk. Nigel Pitman is from
the Duke Center for Tropical Conservation, Duke University, North Carolina;
Peter Jorgensen is attached to Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis.