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Fungi Elevated To Same Status As Flora & Fauna By National Geographic

In an unprecedented move, the National Geographic Society has expanded its conservation lexicon to include the kingdom of fungi alongside plants and animals, marking a significant moment for biodiversity and ecological studies. This historic decision, hailed by the US based, Fungi Foundation (FF), underscores the importance of fungi in sustaining life on Earth and challenges the world to reconsider the conservation narrative.

Black Morel Mushrooms Source: National Geographic

Fungi, one of the fundamental kingdoms of life, play a crucial role in the health and resilience of our biosphere. Despite their importance, fungi have traditionally been under-researched and underrepresented in global conservation efforts. Recognising this, the Fungi Foundation, a not-for-profit dedicated to fungal conservation, welcomes National Geographic’s commitment to mycologically inclusive language and conservation efforts.

Giuliana Furci, Founder and Executive Director of the FF, praises the initiative: “We applaud National Geographic's leadership in adopting mycologically inclusive language. The integration of fungi into the narrative of conservation both deepens our understanding of ecosystems and invites us to consider our collective responsibility towards these often-overlooked organisms," says Giuliana Furci

National Geographic’s Chief Science & Innovation Officer, Ian Miller, says the implications are broad. “Our wildlife work now covers projects that inspire and empower audiences to protect wildlife, including fungi. By including fungi, we support projects that aim to understand and protect these critical organisms," says Ian Miller.

National Geographic magazine celebrates this recognition by featuring fungi on the cover of its April issue, a first in its more than 130-year history. The issue explores the diverse roles of fungi, from their potential in cancer research to solutions for the fast fashion crisis.

National Geographic Mushroom montage

Source: National Geographic

Nathan Lump, National Geographic's editor-in-chief, emphasised the significance of this focus: "The work of The Fungi Foundation has been instrumental in showcasing the importance of fungi. Making this critical form of life the subject of our cover story... shows just how vital they are to our ecosystems and our lives."

This landmark decision is expected to influence conservation and agricultural policy frameworks worldwide, promoting mycological research, surveys, and educational programs. The move aligns with the efforts of the Fauna Flora Funga Initiative, advocating for the inclusion of fungi in international environmental laws and policies.

The narrative shift to include fungi alongside flora and fauna signifies a broader understanding of biodiversity and the interconnectedness of life on Earth. It heralds a new era of conservation, where the often-overlooked kingdom of fungi gains the recognition and protection it critically needs to sustain the planet’s health and resilience.

For more information about the Fungi Foundation CLICK HERE



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