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

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. This 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.






Download poster (pdf)            Download poster  (pdf)


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 

Download the symposium booklet

Poster presentations and prizes

**Abstract submissions are now closed**

Posters will be open for viewing throughout the symposium, including a designated poster session and drinks reception on Thursday 25 May. Delegates presenting posters will also give a one-minute oral presentation to promote their poster before the start of the drinks reception. Prizes will be awarded for the best early career researcher posters.

To present a poster and a one-minute talk, you must have submitted an abstract and received confirmation of its acceptance from the organisers. Abstract submissions are now closed.

Poster guidelines:

Posters must be printed in portrait orientation, no larger than A0 (841mm wide x 1189mm high). If your poster has more than one author, please underline the name of the presenting author e.g. Tanimoto, M., Smith, R.J. and Willis, K.

Presenters will be informed of their poster number when they arrive at the symposium. Please mount your poster next to the corresponding number by 12:30 on Thursday 25 May, and remove it by 17:00 on Friday 26 May.

Please ensure that you are by your poster during the session from 17:50 to 19:20 on Thursday 25 May.

One-minute oral presentation guidelines:

Poster presenters are asked to please prepare a one-minute oral presentation giving an overview of their poster. You may use one PowerPoint slide, or you can present without PowerPoint if you wish. If you are using PowerPoint, please prepare your slide in widescreen format (16:9) and email it to sotwp@kew.org by Thursday 18 May 2017.

The one-minute oral presentations will take place in numerical order, by poster number. Presentations will be timed and will be stopped at 60 seconds.

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.


**Registration is now closed**

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


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. To access the building, please enter the Gardens 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.