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Biological and cultural diversity in the context of botanic garden conservation strategies

Impacts of global climate change, habitat loss, and other environmental changes on the world's biota and peoples continue to increase, especially on islands and in high elevation areas. Just as floristic diversity is affected by environmental change, so too are cultural and linguistic diversity. Of the approximately 7000 extant languages in the world, fully 50% are considered to be at risk of extinction, which is considerably higher than most estimates of extinction risks to plants and animals. To maintain the integrity of plant life, it is not enough for botanic gardens to consider solely the effects of environmental change on plants within the context of major conservation strategies such as the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Rather, botanic gardens should actively engage in understanding and communicating the broader impacts of environmental change to biological and cultural diversity.