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State of the World's Plants Symposium 2017

Join scientists and policymakers to take stock of the world's plant diversity and abundance
Image showing 'Walking the Avenue of the Baobabs'


Registration for State of the World's Plants symposium 2017 is now open

25–26 May 2017
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Jodrell Laboratory
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Kew Road
Surrey TW9 3DS

In conjunction with the publication of a cutting-edge annual report, scientists and policymakers will gather at Kew for the 2nd 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 – 25 May
  • symposium dinner (optional) – 25 May
  • 'behind the scenes' tours of Kew's collections (optional) – 26 May

Symposium Programme

State of the World's Plants 2016

To catch up on last year's State of the World's Plants you can:

Poster presentations and prizes

**Abstract submission is now open**

Delegates will 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 by Friday 21 April 2017.

Posters must be printed in portrait orientation, no larger than A0 (841mm wide x 1189mm high).

Posters will be open for viewing throughout the symposium. Please ensure that your poster is mounted by 12:30 on Thursday 25 May and taken down by 17:00 on Friday 26 May.

A designated poster session will take place from 17:50 to 19:20 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 25 May will be held in the Orangery restaurant, a Grade I listed historic building designed by Sir William Chambers. Tickets for the dinner cost £45 and can be purchased at the time of registration.


Registration for State of the World's Plants 2017 is now open.

Registration deadline: 25 April 2017

Registration: £150

The registration fee includes attendance, lunch and refreshments on both days and a drinks reception during the poster session on 25 May.

Symposium dinner: £45

The Symposium dinner will take place on Thursday 25 May.



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 in the beautiful surroundings of the 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. 

Getting here

For information about getting to Kew, please see the visitor area of our website. Access to the symposium will be via the Jodrell Gate on Kew Road (approximately 300 metres from Victoria Gate).

TaxisKew Cars 020 8568 6666


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:

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

Sponsors & exhibitors

If you are interested advertising, sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities at the symposium, please contact

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.

Contact us

To get in touch with the symposium organisers, please email

Image: Local people on the Avenue of the Baobabs, Morondava, Madagascar (Credit: Gavin Evans, licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0)