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"Understanding the linkages between Caribbean plant diversity, cultural heritage, and human health," by Ina Vandebroek, Curator and Caribbean Program Director, The New York Botanical Garden

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As a cornerstone of human livelihoods and cultural traditions, plant diversity has a critical role to play in addressing global medicinal and nutritional needs. Many communities living in biodiverse areas around the world have developed an impressive repertoire of botanical knowledge that exemplifies their close relationships with, and continued reliance on, local plant resources. The Caribbean region is a tropical plant diversity hotspot with high priority for conservation, based on indicators such as biodiversity richness, degree of endemism, and loss of habitat.