The Kew Platform

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew partners Hay Festival globally to stage a series of environmentally focused discussions and lectures to help foster an understanding of the importance of protecting our planet and its unique biodiversity at a time of increased threats.

Upcoming events

The Kew Platform at Hay Festival Digital Queretaro, 6 September 2020

Explore past events

The Kew Platform at Hay Festival Digital, 29 May 2020

Deforestation has skyrocketed in Colombia since the peace deal of 2016. In the BBC Our World documentary Colombia: Saving Eden, Frank Gardner joins a team of scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew as they go on a mission into virgin tropical rainforest. They hope to discover and save rare plant species before they are destroyed and vanish forever. This conversation develops the story set out in the film - available here - exploring issues of deforestation, peace-building post conflict, poverty, development and conservation both in Colombia and the wider world. BBC Security Correspondent and thriller writer, Frank Gardner is the presenter of the documentary, Diazgranados is the research leader from the Royal Botanic Gardens features in the film.

Watch or listen to the event on Hay Player


The Kew Platform at Hay Festival Cartagena, 2 February 2020

The research of Professor Alexandre Antonelli centres on the origin and evolution of the rich biodiversity of tropical regions, with particular emphasis on the Andean and Amazonian regions of South America. In February 2019, Antonelli was appointed as the new Director of Science at Kew Gardens. In this post, his intention is to have the Kew scientists tackle problems in today’s world with plant-based solutions. Specifically, they aim to discover species that can contribute to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals regarding poverty, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation. He talked to Camilo Jiménez Santofimio about biodiversity and how we can begin to value it in a world where there is constant pressure to develop land for use by humans.

Listen to the event on Hay Player


The Kew Platform at Hay Festival Arequipa, 9 November 2019

Michael Way is a British ecologist with ample experience in conservation of plants and seeds. Since 1992 he has been part of the team at Kew Gardens (United Kingdom) where he works at the Millennium Seed Bank and manages a number of plant conservation partnerships in the Americas. He develops projects and shares specialized knowledge in collection and conservation of genetic resources in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Andean region. At this event, he talked to Daniel Montesinos about new ways to conserve biodiversity and take care of the planet.

Listen to the event on Hay Player


The Kew Platform at Hay Festival Quéretaro, 8 September 2019

This conversation between Doctor Rafael Lira (UNAM) and Doctor Tiziana Ulian from the Royal Botanic Gardens (United Kingdom) explored our comprehension of plants in nature while we fight to protect biodiversity from the different dangers that threaten it. Using some examples of the work of scientists at Kew Gardens in Mexico and other countries, they analysed our relationship with nature and our priorities, and looked at how science can help us with some solutions. The event was introduced by Kew Gardens' Ambassador Andrés Rozental.

The Kew Platform at Hay Festival Wales, 25 May 2019

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and winner of the prestigious Kew International Medal for her work on climate justice, talks to scientist Emily Shuckburgh about her new book, Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future..

Watch or listen to the event on Hay Player

About Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew works in over 100 countries worldwide, to map, research and understand plants and fungi. Kew also focuses on training local people to share its vast archive of data to inform global discussions on conservation and land use. This work involves a network of partner organisations and scientists.

In Mexico, Kew has been working for over 15 years on the conservation of Mexican flora in partnership with Fes-I UNAM (Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), and most recently launched a new project together with Fesi-UNAM and the NGOs Pronatura México and Pronatura Veracruz, to conserve native useful trees of Mexico to maintain its natural capital.

In Peru, Kew is doing work to map land use, and recently announced a new project around seed banking to improve conservation and access to medicinal plants from the highlands of Moquegua Peru. The aim is to build scientific capacity for the collection, conservation and use of seed from wild medicinal plants. The fieldwork of the project is close to Arequipa where the Hay Festival takes place in November.

In Colombia, Kew’s Colombia Bio programme has already been underway for three years, helping to transform the Colombian economy into one based on green growth, by assisting the country to make sustainable use of its natural capital and rich biodiversity.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew logo
Collecting herbarium specimens in the Páramo
Azorella compacta in limestone, Peru