Local people on the Avenue of the Baobabs, Morondava, Madagascar (Credit: Gavin Evans, licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0)
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State of the World's Plants Symposium 2017 – Programme announced

Following the resounding success of the inaugural State of the World’s Plants Symposium in 2016, Kew is set to host another great line-up of world-class speakers. Among the programme highlights will be a guest talk by the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim. 

Kew is pleased to announce the programme for the second international State of the World’s Plants Symposium, taking place from 25–26 May 2017.

The symposium coincides with the publication of a cutting-edge annual report highlighting our current knowledge of the Earth’s plant diversity, the global threats that plants face and the policies dealing with them. The event will bring together international scientists and policymakers to address issues raised in the report from a range of expert views.  

The programme is based around six themed sessions, each comprising talks from leading experts and a panel Q&A. This year’s meeting will have a special focus on Madagascar – exploring the country’s unique biodiversity and examining how we can tackle threats to it.

Speakers will also address a series of globally important questions relating to their own plant science research and policy work. Topics of discussion include:

  • Madagascar – megadiverse and misunderstood – how can we hope to reverse threats to biodiversity?
  • The immediate risk of extinction – climate change won’t matter if everything has already died out…
  • Wildfires – a necessary evil?
  • Invasive plants ­– born to invade?
  • From field to healed – how do we detect the medicinal plants of the future?
  • Valuing nature – which plant species are most valuable?

Amongst the guest speakers, we are excited to welcome Her Excellency, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius. Prior to her presidential role, Dr Gurib-Fakim was the Managing Director of the Centre International de Développement Pharmaceutique (CIDP) Research and Innovation, as well as Professor of Organic Chemistry with an endowed Chair at the University of Mauritius. Her Excellency will be speaking about African herbal pharmacopoeia and potential leads from the Indian Ocean region.

Another highlight of the programme includes a presentation by Professor William Bond from the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON), National Research Foundation (NRF), and University of Cape Town. Professor Bond will be speaking about the problems with wildfires and biodiversity conservation. In addition Dr Ruth Kiew from the Forest Research Institute, Malaysia will discuss the causes of plant extinction in Malaysia.

For more information and to register for the symposium please visit the symposium webpage