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CITES, CBD, Plant Health and Invasive Species

Kew's Science Policy Team offers half- or full-day training courses covering implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or any aspects of Plant Health Regulation & Invasive Species Regulations. These courses can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the course participants.
Science policy training course participants
Science policy training course participants

Conservation policy training

The Science Policy Team can offer half- or full-day courses combining CITES, CBD, Plant Health and Invasive Species issues. Depending on the audience we can offer:

  • Introduction to the Conventions
  • Introduction to conservation polices
  • Introduction to invasive species issues
  • Introduction to plant health issues
  • Identification of CITES protected species
  • Identification of invasive species
  • Practical exercises/quizzes/games
  • Introduction to implementation of the Conventions at botanic gardens
  • Enforcement identification training

The Science Policy Team also offers short work placements and internships for people with a background in plant science/conservation or legal experience/law background who want to gain experience in the implementation of these international conservation conventions.

We currently have internship opportunities in CITES Policy (email Noeleen Smyth for details) and CBD (email China Williams for details).

Contact us

Sara Redstone (PLANT HEALTH & BIOSECURITY)

Rose Simpson (CITES)

Noeleen Smyth (CITES & INVASIVE SPECIES)

China Williams (CBD & NAGOYA PROTOCOL)

Supporting international conservation conventions

Photo of science policy team
Some members of the Science Policy Team (left to right) Sara Redstone – Plant Health & Quarantine, China Williams (CBD & Nagoya Protocol) & Rose Simpson (CITES)

The Science Policy Team at Kew originated from a number of conservation and trade initiatives that were established or hosted at Kew from the early 1970s. The work of the team falls mainly into programmes and projects associated with two large international Conventions: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora (CITES) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The Science Policy Team offers half- or full-day courses combining CITES, CBD, Plant Health and Invasive Species issues, tailored to meet the needs of the course participants.

CITES

Noeleen Smyth and Rose Simpson coordinate Kew’s role as the UK Scientific Authority for plants for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of flora and fauna (CITES).

The main tasks of the team in this respect are:

  • to provide independent scientific advice to the UK CITES Management Authority on applications for CITES permits (over 1,000 a year), and on aspects of the European Union Regulations implementing CITES within Member States
  • to undertake research into key plant groups affected, or that may become affected, by trade and CITES legislation
  • to work with enforcement authorities such as HM Revenue & Customs, UK Border Agency, Wildlife Inspectors and the Police, on the inspection, holding and disposal of detained or seized CITES material
  • to represent the Scientific Authority at technical meetings including the CITES Plants Committee, Conference of the Parties and the Scientific Review Group of the European Union

Publications and useful resources

See full list of CITES publications and resources

Sieder, A., Rainer, H. & Kiehn, M. (compilers) (2009). CITES Orchid Checklist, Volume 5. Bell, A., Brodie, C. & Simpson, R. (eds). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Smyth, N., Nienhuis, C., Muldoon, C. & Lynn, D. (2015). Conservation assessment and monitoring methods for the Annex V clubmoss group (Lycopodium spp.) in Ireland. Irish Wildlife Manuals 86. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dublin, Ireland. Available online

Ní Dhúill, E., Smyth, N., Waldren, S. & Lynn, D. (2015). Monitoring methods for the Killarney fern (Trichomanes speciosum Willd.) in Ireland. Irish Wildlife Manuals 82. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Ireland. Available online

Smyth, N. (2013). Global and national strategies for plant conservation and their implications for public, private and botanic gardens. Moorea 16: 29.

Smyth, N., Armstrong, C., Jebb, M. & Booth, A. (2013). Implementing target 10 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland: Managing two invasive non-native species for plant diversity in Ireland. Sibbaldia 11: 125-141.

CBD and Nagoya Protocol

China Williams leads the CBD Unit, which coordinates Kew’s implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, in particular in relation to Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing. The Unit works with staff planning collecting trips and supports the negotiation of agreements with partners.

Members of the Unit attend all major Conference meetings, often as part of the UK delegation, and directly support the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in relation to plant issues that come up in the negotiations. The Unit works with the wider botanic garden community to coordinate best practice initiatives and influence international policy making in this area.

Publications and useful resources

Access and Benefit Sharing learning tool Available online 

Nagoya Protocol BLOG Available online 

Williams, C. (2015). Code of Conduct and Best Practices. Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF). Available online 

Ahrén, M., Ali, N., Cabrera Medaglia, J. A., Greiber, T., Kamau, E. C., Nieto Carrasco, J., Oliva, M. J., Pena Moreno, S., Perron-Welch, F. & Williams, C. (2012). An explanatory guide to the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing. IUCN Environmental Policy and Law Paper no. 083. Available online

Williams, C. (2011). Access and Benefit Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity: Update from COP10 in Nagoya. Medicinal Plant Conservation 14:17-21.

Williams, C., Davis, K. & Cheyne, P. (2009). The CBD for Botanists (3rd Edition): an introduction to the Convention on Biological Diversity for people working with botanical collections. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Darwin Initiative. CD-ROM. (available in English, French and Spanish).

Williams, C., Davis, K. & Cheyne, P. (2003). The CBD for Botanists: an introduction to the Convention on Biological Diversity for people working with botanical collections. Kew: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Darwin Initiative. 94 pp + CD-ROM. (available in English, French and Spanish).

Invasive Species

Noeleen Smyth and Sara Redstone have led projects and can provide training in all aspects of Invasive species issues. New EU Regulations on Invasive species. A new EU Regulation 1143/2014 on Invasive Alien Species entered into force on 1 January 2015. This Regulation seeks to address the problem of invasive alien species in a comprehensive manner so as to protect native biodiversity, as well as to minimize and mitigate the human health or economic impacts that these species can have. The Regulation foresees three types of interventions; prevention, early detection and rapid eradication, and management.

Publications and useful resources

Morelle, R. (2008). Alien invaders: The next generation. [including interview with Sara Redstone] Available online

BLDG BLOG (2009). Plants without borders: An interview with Sara Redstone.  Available online

Smyth, N., Armstrong, C., Jebb, M. & Booth, A. (2013). Implementing target 10 of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland: Managing two invasive non-native species for plant diversity in Ireland. Sibbaldia 11: 125-141.

Smyth, N. (2013). Control of hottentot fig (Carpobrotus edulis) on Howth Head, Dublin. In: Invasive Alien Species: the Urban Dimension, Case Studies on Strengthening Local Action in Europe, ed. C. van Ham, P. Genovesi & R. Scalera, p.57. Brussels, Belgium: IUCN European Union Representative Office. Available online

Smyth, N. (2011). Are you selling aliens? Pp: 10-11. Growtrade Magazine - serving Ireland’s Horticulture Industry. July 2011. Pilot Issue.

Moorhead, A. & Smyth, N. (2011). Pitcairn Islands. Forests of the Pacific Islands-Foundations for a Sustainable Future. Pp.122-126. Secretariat of the Pacific Community. ISBN:978-982-00-0488-7.

Smyth, N. (2010). Plant Conservation-Invasive Species Control and Forest Restoration on Pitcairn Island, South Central Pacific. Lambert Academic Publishing. ISBN: 978-3-8383-3556-8

Kingston, N. & Smyth, N. (2009). Pitcairn. In: Encyclopaedia of Islands, edited by R.G. Gillespie & D.A. Clague. Pp.744-747. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25649-1.

Plant Health and Biosecurity

Sara Redstone is Kew's Senior Plant Health and Quarantine Officer and is based in the Kew Horticulture Directorate. She works with staff across all areas of Kew’s business to manage incoming and outgoing plant material and to ensure implementation of plant health, CITES, CBD and other relevant conventions and legislation. She oversees management of the Quarantine Unit, which also serves as a bonded warehouse for plant seizures made under CITES, plant health and drug legislation. She was the client for development of Kew’s new quarantine facility and biosecurity procedures. Sara develops and provides technical support, advice and training to Kew staff and external organisations (for example PlantNetwork, Defra, FERA, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and Plant Heritage) and undertakes research in relevant areas (for example oak processionary moth, quarantine waste management and plant viruses). She represents Kew on scientific and technical advisory groups such as Plant Health Licensing Taskforce, Plant Imports Taskforce, GB Non-Native Species Stakeholder Technical Group and EUPHRESCO International Plant Sentinel Network Advisory Board.

Presentations and publications

Redstone, S. (2014). Biosecurity at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation workshop on Contingency Planning, Nov 18-20 2014, RBG Kew. Available online

Molmou, D.,  Basile, C., Couch, C., Cheek, M., Merklinger, F., Davies, L., Harvey,Y., Lopez Poveda, L. & Redstone, S. (2013). Conservation of the threatened Guinean Inselberg species. AETFAT, SANBI, South Africa.

Redstone, S. (2012). Controlled environments technology and practice. Presentation to the 4th International Meeting of Controlled Environments Technology and practice. Available online

Redstone, S. (2012). Biosecurity and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. International Dendrological Society Conference on Tree Pests and Diseases, RBG Kew, UK (presentation).

Franklin, J., Redstone, S. & Padfield, A. (2012). Energy Efficient, High Containment Facility for Plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. European Biological Safety Association Report.

Malumphy, C. & Redstone, S. (2012). Grey scale Pseudoparlatoria ostreata Cockerell (Hemiptera: Diaspididae), a pest of indoor plantings new to Britain. Entomologist's Gazette 63: 2 (107-114).

Roberts, S. J., Brough, J., Everett, B. & Redstone, S. (2004). Extraction methods for Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris from brassica seed. International Seed Testing Association, Bassersdorf, Switzerland. Seed Science and Technology 32: 2 (439-453).

Roberts, S. J., Taylor, J. D., Redstone, S. & Fuller, M. P. (1998). Brassicas: development of a screening system to detect Xanthomonas campestris in seed and evaluation of pathogen resistance in seed parents of winter cauliflower. HDC FV 186 Annual Report 1996-1997. East Malling, UK: HDC.

Redstone, S., Fuller, M. P., Roberts, S. J. & Taylor, J. D. (1997). A preliminary review of Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris in the cauliflower crop in West Cornwall, UK. In: ISHS Symposium on Brassicas, 23-27 September 1997, Rennes, France. Poster.