The destruction of forests and other ecosystems is leading to a loss of languages, as indigenous peoples are driven from their homes and forced to migrate to urban areas and assimilate into dominant cultures, according to the U.N. Environment Program. Bai-Mass Taal, UNEP’s biodiversity program manager, says there is heavy overlap between areas of high biological diversity and areas of high cultural and linguistic diversity. Some 300 million indigenous people in more than 70 nations live in environmental hotspots that are threatened by exploitation of resources and habitat destruction. The loss of linguistic diversity represents a huge loss in intellectual resources, as unique ways of synthesizing the world and solving problems disappear along with languages, Taal says.