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The environment

Kew is a world leading plant, science and conservation organisation. Our scientific resources and expertise are focused on finding plant-based solutions to global challenges such as biodiversity loss, food and water security, poverty, disease and changing climate. 

All life depends on plants - and not just those we value the most. The health of the planet - and our future - depends on the immense wealth of different species of plants and fungi that grow in the Earth's many and varied habitats, and securing the future of these species is at the heart of the work that Kew's scientists do.

Biodiversity describes the variety and variability of all living things on Earth. Find out more about biodiversity and why it matters to all of us.

Kew released a study warning that, due to the effects of climate change, Arabica coffee could be extinct by the end of 21st century.

Crop wild relatives are related to common food crops but only exist in the wild. These wild cousins of crops are vital to food security because they contain greater amounts of genetic diversity, making them more resilient in the face of climate change, pests and diseases and other new threats.

Detail of Solanum ruvu specimen

80% of our calorie intake comes from just 12 dominant crops and 50% of our calories come from just the three big grasses: wheat, maize and rice. What would happen if we were to lose one of these crops?

Sweet wormwood (Artmesia annua)

One of the most challenging questions facing scientists is 'how many species are there in the world?'

Photo of Amazon rainforest

Water is vital to life and, in turn, biodiversity cleans, cycles and regulates the world’s water. Kew’s projects around the world aim to understand and conserve valuable plant diversity, to safeguard the vital services provided by natural vegetation.

Test flower picture

Crops are plants that are cultivated and harvested for commercial purposes and use by humans. They can be grown for food, medicine, fuel, fibre, raw materials or for their chemical properties.

Photo Wild carrot (Daucus carota) in flower

Agriculture is the cultivation and harvest of living things for use by humans. Plants, algae, fungi and animals are all farmed to make products including food, drink, medicine and fuel. Kew promotes a sustainable approach to agriculture where the natural world is valued, protected and integrated with farmed lands.

Why People Need Plants

A compelling book from Kew Publishing that explores the crucial role that plants play in the everyday lives of all of us.

image of book cover

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