Experts call for greater appreciation of plants

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Updated: 2020-10-28

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A dialog between two botanists, a sociologist, and a musician on the topic "The Power of Plants" was held in Chenshan Botanic Garden on Oct 24.

The experts shared their knowledge of how plants have shaped human history and suggested that the public pay more attention to the plants around them.

Paul Smith, secretary general of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, said in a video for the event that the power of plants lies in its diversity. The organization estimated that there are 400,000 species of plants in the world that help store carbon to decelerate global warming.

Huang Ying, a Chinese operatic soprano, said plants and music have one thing in common — they have the power of healing, and music often draws inspiration from nature. Her first performance on stage was singing Jasmine Flower.

Chen Jin, director of the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said humans are often victims of "plant blindness", referring to how people tend to underappreciate the flora around them, even though plants play a big role in ecology.

Yu Hai, professor of sociology at Fudan University, said that agricultural plants, especially rice, wheat and corn, help people settle down and create civilizations.

The event was jointly held by Shanghai Observer and Chenshan Botanic Garden as part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the opening of the city's largest botanic garden in the suburban Songjiang district.

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