Fauna, Flora, Funga

The FFF Initiative elevates fungi's conservation status by advocating for their inclusion in international laws and policies, promoting the term "Funga" alongside "Fauna" and "Flora."

In 2018, the paper delimiting the term funga was published, recognizing the pressing need for a collective term equivalent to "Fauna" and "Flora" specifically for the kingdom Fungi. This paper thoroughly analyzed and reviewed various terminologies proposed by mycologists, aiming to simplify projects focused on educational and conservation goals. After extensive discussions, the authors proposed the adoption of the word "Funga" as the accurate and encompassing term for the fungi kingdom.

From this, the Fauna, Flora, Funga initiative was created: a collaborative endeavor between the Fungi Foundation, NYU's Earth Advocacy Clinic, and Merlin Sheldrake, that seeks to elevate the status of fungi within the realm of conservation and environmental protection. Fungi have long been overlooked despite their critical role in sustaining life on Earth. The initiative aims to rectify this oversight by advocating for the inclusion of fungi in international environmental and conservation law, policies, and language. Central to the initiative's goals is the widespread adoption of the term funga as a distinct category along fauna and flora.

Out of the numerous supporters of the initiative's mission, Re:wild and IUCN SSC have taken the lead as the first international organizations to commit to recognizing fungi as a distinct and indispensable kingdom of life crucial for safeguarding and revitalizing our planet. In 2021, the organizations announce their commitment to use “mycologically-inclusive” language in their internal and public-facing communications (“fauna, flora and funga” and “animals, fungi and plants”) and to incorporate fungi in conservation strategies with rare and endangered plants and animals.

Credit: Alejandro Sequiera

Steps to Support the FFF Initiative:

You might wonder how you can contribute to the Flora Fauna Funga initiative. First and foremost, educate yourself and others about the importance of fungi in our lives and ecosystems. Make the distinction that they are not plants or animals, that they are their own kingdom. Then use the word Funga. When “fauna” and “flora” are mentioned, add “funga”. When it's “animals” and “plants”, add “fungi”. Share articles, research, and educational resources. Engage with organizations and institutions in your region and point out if they need to make this change, so that we can work for a better future that recognizes funga as the interconnectors of nature.

More Reading:

Sign the petition at the Fauna Flora Funga website

Articles about the initiative: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Podcasts about the initiative: 1, 2, 3