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

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 will lead to the development of a ‘conference declaration’ which will aim to inform policies for protecting and restoring the world’s forests. Delegates will have the opportunity to contribute to the declaration and sign up to support it afterwards. 

It is hoped that the discussions will also influence and support initiatives arising from COP15 in China and COP26 in Glasgow later this year. 


Headline sponsor

Sky Zero

Sky Zero logo in green

Supporting sponsor

Franklinia Foundation

Franklinia Foundation logo

Collaborating partner