The vulnerability and loss of plant life due to urbanisation, agriculture, deforestation, pollution, introduced species and climate change is often overlooked in environmental communications. There are nonetheless many significant environmental issues facing contemporary botany. The question of how this problem could be improved by a more aware and educated citizenry is the central concern of this study. 

This research responds to the erosion of botanical diversity which has become a severe problem in Australian urban culture. Human-induced climate change presents an unprecedented challenge to the conservation of biodiversity in Australia (Mackey et al., 2008). Despite the massive efforts that have been made globally to conserve plant diversity over the past few decades, it is becoming increasingly evident that our current strategies are not sufficient to prevent the continuing decline in biodiversity (Heywood, 2017). 

At the same time, cultural responses to this issue have been slow, and I argue that much of this has been due to problems in the way the problem has been communicated.
Accordingly, I will examine methods for building innovative communications strategies on the erosion of botanical diversity. 

The research will evaluate the current status of contemporary botanical art in the context of Environmental Education and Communications (EEC) and assesses the efficacy and relevance of the current visual discourses associated with the significant environmental issues of contemporary botany. 

In the context of the erosion of botanical diversity, how might botanical art be employed within an environmental communications model to educate and communicate the need to address botanical erosion effectively? 

There are three subsidiary questions pertaining to this central research question which will be examined: 

    1. What is the current status of contemporary botanical art? 
    2. How does this visual discourse address the major environmental issues of contemporary botany? 
    3. What are the educational and communications opportunities of these environmental issues?


Environmental degradation requires new ways of understanding the natural world. In areas where the loss of botanical species is becoming critical, new cultural responses to the erosion of local plant life are needed as the basis for local engagement in conservation. This study builds on existing environmental communications while investigating the theories and practices of environmental art required to address this need.


Heywood, V. H. (2017) ‘Plant conservation in the Anthropocene – Challenges and future prospects’, Plant Diversity. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/J.PLD.2017.10.004. 

Mackey, B. G. et al. (2008) ‘Climate change, biodiversity conservation, and the role of protected areas: An Australian perspective’, Biodiversity. Taylor & Francis, 9(3–4), pp. 11–18. doi: 10.1080/14888386.2008.9712902.

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