Research by the University of Zurich: by the end of the century, more than 30% of local dialects will be lost, endangering the knowledge of medicinal plants

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  • By The End Of The Century, More Than 30% Of Local Dialects Will Be Lost, Putting The Knowledge Of Medicinal Plants At Risk

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For the research, the team studied 12,000 medicinal plants belong ing to 230 local dialects in North America, northwest Amazonia and New Guinea based on linguistic and biological diversity.

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  • Disappearance of age-old remedies

Medicinal plants in the world are in danger of disappearing rapidly, threatening the knowledge of many centuries-old remedies. Because, in different parts of the world, local dialects will disappear. Because of this, there are many such medicinal plants whose information will never be available again.

This information has come out in the research of the University of Zurich. For the research, the team studied 12,000 medicinal plants belonging to 230 local dialects in North America, northwest Amazonia and New Guinea based on linguistic and biological diversity.

They found that 73% of medicinal knowledge in North America is found in only one language, 91% in northwest Amazonia, and 84% in New Guinea in a single language. Dr. Rodrigo says, ‘With the end of the dialects, the traditional knowledge of medicinal plants will end, as well as the whole system will also be affected by it. Because we will not be able to do anything special to protect them.

The dialects contain a large amount of knowledge of medicinal plants found in nature. In such a situation, after the end of the local dialect, no one will be able to tell which plant is called and what is its specialty. According to the UN, more than 30% of the world’s 7,400 languages ​​are expected to disappear by the end of the century.

2022-32 International Decade of Indigenous Languages

There are less than 10,000 speakers of the more than 1,900 local dialects currently spoken. The United Nations has declared 2022-32 as the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. Dr. Jonathan Loh, an anthropologist and conservationist at the University of Kent, says local dialects may hold valuable knowledge of unknown drugs. The native language once lost, can never be recovered.

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