Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods

This online conference will create a global hub of expertise and new ideas on reforestation.

Hand holding a seedling

Read the Kew Declaration

The Declaration has been signed by over 3,000 global experts and concerned citizens from 114 countries.


Read the Kew Declaration and view the signatory list

This event has now taken place

You can watch the talks on YouTube:

Day 1: Wednesday 24 February

Day 2: Thursday 25 February

Day 3: Friday 26 February

Programme and speaker details

Day 1 – Wednesday 24 February 2021  

View programme  Day 1 
View speaker details – Day 1 
View abstracts – Day 1 

Day 2 – Thursday 25 February 2021  

View programme – Day 2 
View speaker details – Day 2 
View abstracts – Day 2 

Day 3 – Friday 26 February 2021  

View programme – Day 3 
View speaker details – Day 3 
View abstracts – Day 3 

About the conference

Tree planting dominates political and popular agendas, often portrayed as an easy answer to the climate crisis and effective mitigation for corporate carbon emissions.

But it is not a simple solution and planting the wrong trees in the wrong place can cause considerably more damage than benefits, failing to benefit either people or nature. 

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) jointly convened three days of online discussion and debate on best practice and policy, underpinned by scientific evidence, to go beyond the headlines and find ways of raising the standard of global reforestation.

The conference created a global hub of expertise and innovative thinking to ensure that reforestation delivers benefits, not just for carbon capture but also for biodiversity and human wellbeing. 

The focus was on finding workable, evidence-based solutions for reforestation to benefit biodiversity, carbon capture and livelihoods – questioning assumptions, showcasing success stories, identifying challenges and encouraging new, integrative approaches. 

Ahead of this conference, Kew, BGCI and international partners highlighted the environmental risks of large-scale tree planting schemes, in a review published in the journal Global Change Biology

Within the review we propose “ten golden rules” for reforestation, based on the latest scientific evidence, to maximise benefits for people and the planet. 

Informing policy and practice 

Discussions during the conference have led to the development of 'The Kew Declaration', which aims to promote policies and frameworks to ensure protection of intact forests and adoption of effective restoration strategies to protect biodiversity, mitigate climate change and improve livelihoods.
The Declaration outlines key requests to policymakers, reforestation financiers and practitioners, to enable better decision-making for global reforestation.

We are calling on organisations and individuals to show their support by signing the Kew Declaration and sharing details among their networks. The deadline for signing the Declaration is 7 July 2021.


Read and sign the Kew Declaration


Headline sponsor

Sky Zero

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Supporting sponsor

Franklinia Foundation

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Collaborating partner