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13.10.20 - 15.10.20

A virtual symposium from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

In conjunction with the publication of a groundbreaking report, scientists, policymakers, businesses, NGOs, the public and media will come together online for the State of the World's Plants and Fungi Virtual Symposium.

Plants and fungi are the building blocks of our planet, with the potential to solve urgent problems that threaten human life. These vital resources, however, are being compromised by biodiversity loss and now, more than ever, we need to explore the solutions that plants and fungi could provide.

In September 2020 we will be publishing, in collaboration with international researchers, the very first State of the World's report that combines both plants and fungi. The report takes a deep dive into how we currently use plants and fungi, what we are missing and what we are at threat from losing.

This online symposium brings together experts to discuss findings presented in the report and to motivate actions for protecting and sustainably using the world's plant and fungal diversity. The outcomes of the discussions will be used to inform policies and research aimed at exploring and sharing knowledge and benefits associated with plants and fungi around the world.

By holding it online, we're able to bring together even more people globally - representing a diverse range of skills, experience and ethnic backgrounds. Through our virtual platform's live text chat and face-to-face video conferencing facilities, delegates will be able to network, contribute to the debate, present their results and spark new collaborations.


The symposium is based around six themed sessions in which invited experts will address a topical question through presentations and a Q&A panel discussion:
  • Collections - Why are they important for averting biodiversity loss? What should we do to help them evolve to enable us to address future challenges?
  • Biodiversity loss - What is driving the extinction rates?
  • Plant and fungal uses - How can we maximise the use of plant and fungal diversity to meet global challenges?
  • Genomics - How do we embrace novel approaches to studying plant and fungal biodiversity?
  • Commercialisation - How do we optimise the economic benefits of plant and fungal biodiversity in recognition of different stakeholders' needs?
  • Policies - How can we work globally to respect and enable Access and Benefit-Sharing and CITES regulations, while increasing the diversity of plants and fungi being studied?
Other highlights include:
  •     Virtual poster presentations and prizes
  •     Workshops and networking discussions
  •     Virtual Kew: experience Kew Gardens through virtual tours and behind the scenes video footage

Virtual poster presentations and prizes

Delegates are invited to submit an abstract to present a ‘virtual poster' - a one-minute pre-recorded presentation using PowerPoint slides, audio and (optional) video. Prizes will be awarded for the best student and early career researcher virtual poster presentations.

Abstract submissions will open soon.

Booking and cost

Standard ticket: £10
Fee waiver: to help ensure that the symposium is as open to participation as possible, delegates may apply for a fee waiver at the time of registration.
Tickets include access to all live sessions and recordings, virtual posters, networking discussions, virtual tours and more.

Registration will open soon. Go to the Kew Gardens event page to register.

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