Kew and the Comprehensive Spending Review

Whilst awaiting details of the scale and phasing of any cuts to its Government grant, Kew will continue to focus on delivering its mission and meeting the demand for its vital services.

19 Oct 2010

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Detail of the Montserrat orchid

The Montserrat orchid (Epidendrum montserratense) is rated by the IUCN as Critically Endangered. Kew's Conservation Biotechnology Unit has successfully germinated the dust-like seeds of this threatened plant species (Copyright: Martin Hamilton).

A message from Stephen Hopper

Kew’s Director, Professor Stephen Hopper today made the following statement about the possible effect of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review on Kew’s activities.

At this time of increasing environmental challenges, Kew's role in delivering science-based plant conservation worldwide is vital, and the demand for its services escalating. Kew’s global projects and partnerships continue to demonstrate excellent value, including such essential resources as our Millennium Seed Bank Partnership.

Kew’s Director, Professor Stephen Hopper.

"Following the Treasury announcement today, we await further direction from Defra regarding Kew’s budget allocation and phasing.

At this time of increasing environmental challenges, Kew's role in delivering science-based plant conservation worldwide is vital, and the demand for its services escalating. Kew’s global projects and partnerships continue to demonstrate excellent value, including such essential resources as our Millennium Seed Bank Partnership.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is c. 50% funded as a Non-Departmental Public Body via Grant In Aid from Defra. We appreciate Defra's ongoing and significant support for Kew’s Mission, but to meet the increasing demand for our services, we continue to explore and develop new partnerships and revenue streams.

We have undertaken scenario planning ahead of this Comprehensive Spending Review. Kew’s strategic focus will remain on delivering its mission and vital contribution to biodiversity conservation, although we acknowledge that the scope and phasing of this may be affected by any cuts in Government funding.

To continue to deliver Kew’s important work, support from across society is increasingly important to complement Government funding.''

A  world leader in botanical science and plant conservation

Kew Gardens in London is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and according to users of the travel advice site, Trip Advisor, the UK’s favourite gardens.

But Kew is far from just a great day out - its mission to ‘inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life’, is of ever increasing importance in today’s changing environment. Kew is a world leader in botanical science and plant conservation.

Kew's Millennium Seed Bank
The Millennium Seed Bank partnership aims to save 25% of the world's wild plant species by 2020.

Kew’s scientific research and collections underpin essential plant conservation work taking place around the world. A primary example is Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank partnership of over 100 institutions in over 50 countries, which has so far saved over 10% of the world’s plant species, and is aiming to reach 25% by 2020.

In the UK, Kew carries out an important range of activities under the National Heritage Act 1983, including maintaining its unparalleled collections as a national reference collection. These collections hold records going back 250 years, providing a vital document of the changing environment. Kew, with its UK and international partners, plays a leading role in the fight against biodiversity loss both in the UK and around the world.

Kew is also at the cutting edge of contemporary plant science, for example through its research into DNA barcoding, micropropagation, and sustainable plant uses, all of which have the potential to make a significant impact on future quality of life.

All life depends on plants

All life depends on plants; they give us clean air, water, fertile soils, food, fuel, medicine, shelter, and they also help regulate the climate. Kew has the knowledge, expertise and partnerships to continue making a significant contribution to conservation in the UK and around the world, improving our quality of life and those of future generations.


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


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