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The Royal Botanical Gardens Kew

The mission of Kew is to inspire and deliver science-based plant conservation worldwide, enhancing the quality of life.

Kew is fundamentally a scientific, amenity and educational organization devoted to increasing knowledge and public understanding of plant and fungal diversity. Throughout its history, the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, has made important contributions to increasing the understanding of the plant kingdom and today is still first and foremost a scientific institution. Among its most important recent research achievements has been to lead a worldwide team to map the phylogeny of higher plants down to family level. The Kew Herbarium is one of the most comprehensive in the world, with a reference collection of over 7.5 million specimens of higher plants (including over 300,000 type specimens). The Millennium Seed Bank Project (MSB) is the world leader in wild seed conservation research. The seed collection held in the MSB represents the most diverse source of seed material in the world, and is an unparalleled resource for agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and habitat restoration. As such, it is a critical tool for human adaptation to climate change. The Library has more than 750,000 volumes, representing a globally important reference source for botanical research.

Research is carried out by a complement of around 200 plant scientists, supported by another 400 staff of which about 200 are devoted to the cultivated plant collections. Kew provides a programme of courses and other activities for professionals, postgraduates and undergraduates to facilitate access to our collections and expertise. Increasingly Kew is broadening access to its collections by digitizing them and making them available over the Internet. Kew seeks to support conservation through capacity building, partnership and collaboration, higher education and training in local, national and international frameworks.

Click here to see the activities of the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew in 2007/2008.

Link to The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew website.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme