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The world’s most valuable bank: what is nature worth?

The World's Most Valuable Bank - What is Nature Worth was a Kew Patrons event that took place in November 2013. The panel discussed the economic value of our planet's natural resources, and questioned what price we can put on nature

Poster for The World's Most Valuable Bank event

We feel instinctively that nature has value – but how much? And do we know how to make the most of what nature has given us?

Professor Katherine Willis, Director of Science at The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, hosted a panel debate discussing this question on Thursday 7 November 2013.

Participants included:

  • Chair: Quentin Cooper, science journalist best known for presenting the UK’s most listened-to science programme, Material World, on BBC Radio 4.
  • Professor Rosie Hails, Science Director for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Science at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Matt Sexton, B&Q’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Dr Paul Smith, Head of Kew’s Seed Conservation Department and leader of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership (MSBP)
  • Richard Thompson, Leader of the PricewaterhouseCoopers UK Valuations Practice 

Listen to the debate on Soundcloud.

Download the mp3 of the debate from Soundcloud.

Download a transcript of Richard Thompson speaking at the event (pdf)

Get involved - Adopt a Seed, Save a Species

We have successfully banked 10% of the world's wild plant species and we have set our sights on saving 25% by 2020.

Without plants there could be no life on earth, and yet every day another four plant species face extinction. Too often when we hear these kind of statistics there is little that we can do as individuals, but thanks to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership and the Adopt a Seed, Save a Species campaign there is something that you can do to ensure the survival of a plant species.

Adopt a seed for just £25 | Save a plant species outright

Become a Patron of Kew

This event was part of the Patrons Events Programme.

If you would like to find out more, please email patrons@kew.org or visit the Kew website patron page.

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