It is still the case that fungi (or now perhaps ‘funga’) are overlooked by most international instruments of government. The Convention on Biological Diversity explicitly refer to flora and fauna but fail to mention fungi, despite its great importance to ecology and the key role it plays in stabilising ecosystems.
As you probably know, Fungi make up one of life’s kingdoms – as broad a category as “animals” or “plants” – and provide a key to understanding our planet. Yet fungi have received only a small fraction of the attention they deserve. This is especially troubling given the key role fungi that play in stabilizing ecosystems and addressing urgent environmental threats like climate change, not to mention all of the ways humans rely on fungi – from foods to medicines to spiritual practices.
This year, the international community is gathering on several occasions to tackle urgent environmental threats. In May, states will negotiate the Post-2020 Global Framework on Biodiversity, which will define what states and other actors need to do protect biodiversity for years to come. In September, global leaders will consider means to strengthen the global food system at the UN Food Systems Summit. In November, the world will reconvene to tackle the climate emergency at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
That’s why now is the time for fungi to get their due. Our good friend, Guiliana Furci from Chile together with Merlin Sheldrake and César Rodríguez-Garavito – are calling on governments and relevant international and national institutions to rectify their oversight of fungi and explicitly add fungi to conservation laws, policies, and frameworks – a first step in the exciting initiative called Flora, Fauna and Funga, which will bring together scientists, decision-makers, civil society leaders and friends of fungi and nature around the world.
You can find the statement here. Please sign on!
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