State of the World's Plants and Fungi Symposium

Join international experts to discuss actions for conserving and restoring global plant and fungal biodiversity.

Yayu Forest trees

How to attend

Date and time

11 to 13 October 2023, timings will vary


Kew Gardens and online


Opening soon 

What to expect

In conjunction with the publication of a groundbreaking report, scientists, policymakers, businesses, NGOs, the public and media will come together for the fifth international State of the World's symposium.

Plants and fungi are the building blocks of our planet, with the potential to solve some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. But the vital resources and services they provide depend on diverse, healthy ecosystems. The future of these ecosystems, and life as we know it, hinges on the decisions we make today.

In October 2023 we will be publishing, in collaboration with international researchers, the fifth in our series of State of the World’s Plants and Fungi reports. The report takes a deep dive into our current knowledge on plant and fungal diversity and distribution – what we know, what we don’t know and where we need to focus our efforts.

This three-day symposium brings together experts to discuss findings presented in the report and to identify actions for protecting and restoring the world’s plant and fungal diversity. The discussions will be used to create a declaration containing a shared agreement and action plan for where scientific institutions aim to focus their collecting, conservation and restoration efforts to achieve the targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework

Programme and workshops

The programme is based around five themed sessions in which invited experts will address topical questions through presentations and Q&A panel discussions.

In addition, in-person attendees will have the opportunity to participate in four workshops to contribute their ideas and expertise towards the development of the symposium declaration. 

Sessions 1 and 2: Where are the diversity hotspots and critical knowledge gaps? 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor M. Catherine Aime, Purdue University, USA
  • Professor Aída M. Vasco Palacios, University of Antioquia, Colombia
  • Ms Domitilla Raimondo, South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), South Africa
  • Mr Ian Ondo, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), UK
  • Dr Janaína Gomes-da-Silva, Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Session 3: What do we know about extinction risk?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Rachael Gallagher, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Australia
  • Dr Mijoro Rakotoarinivo, University of Antananarivo, Madagscar
  • Professor Anders Dahlberg, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Session 4: How do we accelerate our understanding of plant and fungal diversity? 

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Daniele Silvestro, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Professor Lynne Boddy MBE, Cardiff University, UK

Session 5: How can we achieve global and national targets for biodiversity protection and restoration?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Ms Giuliana Furci, Fungi Foundation (FFungi), Chile

More details about the programme and workshops will be announced soon.

Tree trunks surrounded by raging orange flames

State of the World's Plants and Fungi

Providing assessments of our current knowledge of the diversity of plants and fungi on Earth, the threats that they face, and the policies to safeguard them