International Day for Biodiversity
22 May 2007
With global temperatures set to rise by up to 5.8°C by the end of the century, climate change is being hailed as the “new great threat” to biodiversity. The day is a call for immediate action as the effects become visible in coral bleaching and the retreat of glaciers worldwide.
Nowhere are these effects more apparent than in botanic gardens, with earlier springs and hotter, drier summers disrupting traditional plant growth cycles. Across the world, gardens from Shanghai to New York are experiencing dramatically early spring blooms, with bulbs and flowering trees erupting into blossom up to two months earlier.
These gardens are taking a leading role to mitigate this threat by helping preserve plant biodiversity in their vast living collections, conserving native habitats world-wide and acting as key players in environmental education.
Around the world the event will be marked in botanic gardens with lectures, seminars, film presentations, cultural events, exhibitions and school outreach activities.
The Convention on Biological Diversity
Climate Change Observations in Botanic Gardens Around the Globe
Observations on Climate Change Around the World (Guardian)
50 years of Kew's phenology records show some dramatic changes (Guardian)
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