About 1,000 botanists and horticulturists from around the world gathered in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on Monday to discuss ways to conserve global plant diversity.
"Of the current 300,000 to 450,000 plant species in the wild, 10 percent to 20 percent are threatened or faced with extinction according to our most conservative calculation," said Sara Oldfield, secretary general of the UK-based Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), at the Third Global Botanic Gardens Congress.
But the number of endangered species may actually be as high as 94,052 to 193,513 and if mankind does not take emergency measures, we could witness a complete exhaustion of plant resources by the end of this century, she said.
It is the first time the congress, which attracted 726 botanists and horticulturists from 89 countries and regions in addition to 252 Chinese experts, has been held in Asia.
During the five-day congress, between April 16 and 20, the experts will discuss how to achieve a sustainable future through the role of botanic gardens.
BGCI, a charity group and also a company registered in England, links more than 800 botanic gardens and botanical institutions in more than 120 countries and regions.
(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2007)