Dr. Peter Raven on the Planet’s Biodiversity Crisis  
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Raven: We’re driving them to extinction at an unprecedented rate.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that 20% to 40% of the species of organisms on Earth are likely to go extinct during the present century on the basis of global warming alone, without even the other factors coming into it.

HOST: Halo, eco-wise viewers, and welcome to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Today’s program features world-renowned botanist Dr. Peter Raven, who is a professor at Washington University, USA and the current president of the Missouri Botanical Garden, USA.

Honored as a 『Hero for the Planet』 by TIME magazine in 1999 , Dr. Raven has worked for decades to conserve the world’s plant and animal species. He is highly respected and is a member of 21 different national science academies across the globe. Dr. Raven has won many prestigious awards, including the International Prize for Biology from the Japanese government and the US National Medal of Science, the USA’s highest scientific honor.

Recently, he received the 2009 Award for International Scientific Cooperation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences for his contributions to Chinese botanical research. 

He is also the author of the internationally best-selling textbook 『Biology of Plants.』 Vibrant biological diversity is a sign of ecological balance and brings tremendously benefits to humankind.

Unfortunately, human activities across the globe are rapidly destroying key areas of biological richness including rainforests, wetlands, coral reefs and grasslands.

Scientists warn that global biodiversity is in grave peril and thus the survival of humanity is at stake. The Lung Ying-tai Cultural Foundation’s (龍應台文化基金會) MediaTek lecture series featured a talk by Dr. Raven at the National Central Library in Formosa (Taiwan) entitled 『Are We Saving Them or Ourselves? Global Action on the Rescue of Endangered Biodiversity.』 

We now present excerpts from an interview with Dr. Peter Raven, as well as from his talk in Formosa (Taiwan) and begin with him addressing some of the reasons why biodiversity is so important to our planet.

For more details on Dr. Raven, please visit
WUBio.wustl.edu/Raven 『Biology of Plants』
and other books by Dr. Raven are available at