Local people on the Avenue of the Baobabs, Morondava, Madagascar (Credit: Gavin Evans, licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0)
kew.org > Kew Gardens > What's on (Kew Gardens) > State of the World's Plants Symposium 2017

State of the World's Plants Symposium 2017

Join scientists and policymakers to take stock of the world's plant diversity and abundance.

Event details

Thursday 25 and Friday 26 May 2017
Jodrell Laboratory, RBG Kew, Kew Road, Surrey TW9 3DS

Registration fee £150; Symposium dinner £45

Event overview

Register for the symposium by 25 April 2017

About the symposium

In conjunction with the publication of a cutting-edge annual report, scientists and policymakers will gather at Kew for the second international State of the World's Plants Symposium.

An annual review of the major issues affecting plant diversity and abundance, Kew's State of the World’s Plants report provides data on important indicator metrics to show us how plants are faring and how this is changing over time. As well as revealing the current status, the report includes horizon scanning to identify important and emerging issues, including research and knowledge gaps. The two-day symposium offers a platform to discuss issues raised in the report and to engage the scientific community, policymakers and public alike.

This year’s State of the World’s Plants will have a special focus on Madagascar – exploring the country’s unique biodiversity and examining how we can tackle threats to it.


The symposium will be based around six themed sessions, each comprising talks from invited experts followed by a panel Q&A to discuss the emerging issues:

1. Madagascar: megadiverse and misunderstood – how can we hope to reverse threats to biodiversity?
2. The immediate risk of extinction: climate change won’t matter if everything has already died out…
3. Wildfires: a necessary evil?
4. Invasive plants: born to invade?
5. From field to healed: how do we detect the medicinal plants of the future?
6. Valuing nature: which plant species are most valuable?

Other highlights of the programme include:

  • poster session and drinks reception – Thursday 25 May
  • symposium dinner (optional) – Thursday 25 May
  • 'behind the scenes' tours of Kew's collections (optional) – Friday 26 May

View the full programme 

Poster presentations and prizes

Call for abstracts – deadline for submission: Friday 21 April

Delegates have the opportunity to present a poster accompanied by a one-minute oral presentation. Prizes will be awarded for the best early career researcher posters.

If you wish to present a poster please follow the abstract preparation guidelines and email your abstract to sotwp@kew.org by Friday 21 April 2017.

Posters will be open for viewing throughout the symposium. Please ensure that your poster is mounted by 12.30pm on Thursday 25 May and taken down by 5pm on Friday 26 May.

A designated poster session will take place from 5.50pm to 7.20pm on Thursday 25 May. If you are presenting, please ensure that you are by your poster at this time.

Symposium dinner

The symposium dinner on Thursday 25 May will be held in Kew’s Orangery restaurant, a Grade I listed historic building designed by Sir William Chambers. Tickets for the dinner cost £45 and can be purchased when you register online.


Deadline for registration: 25 April 2017

Registration fee: £150 – includes attendance, lunch and refreshments on both days and a drinks reception during the poster session on 25 May.

Symposium dinner (optional): £45

Register online


Follow @KewScience and #SOTWP on twitter for updates. If you are tweeting about State of the World's Plants, please use the hashtag #SOTWP.


The symposium will take place at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew –  a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kew holds globally important scientific collections of living and preserved plants and fungi. Delegates will have the opportunity to explore the gardens and undertake 'behind the scences' tours of our collections.

Lectures will be held in the Jodrell Laboratory, RBG Kew, Kew Road, Surrey, TW9 3DS. 

Access to the symposium will be via the Jodrell Gate on Kew Road (approximately 300 metres from Victoria Gate). 

Information about getting to Kew


We strongly recommend that delegates book their accommodation as early as possible, to secure availability and the best prices. Nearby accommodation is available at:

Travelodge London Kew Bridge Hotel (0.9 miles away)
Premier Inn London Kew Bridge Hotel (1.2 miles away)
Premier Inn London Brentford Hotel (1.7 miles away)
Other local bed and breakfast accommodation can be found at: www.kewaccommodation.com

Please note, RBG Kew cannot accept any responsibility for the information on this list or the standard of accommodation services provided.

Sponsors and exhibitors

If you are interested advertising, sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities at the symposium, please contact sotwp@kew.org.

The staff and trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the Kew Foundation would like to thank the Sfumato Foundation for generously funding the State of the World’s Plants project.

We also thank the following sponsors for supporting the symposium:

State of the World's Plants 2016

Catch up on the State of the World's Plants report and symposium from 2016:

Contact us

To get in touch with the symposium organisers, please email sotwp@kew.org.