Kew reveals scientific strategy

The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, has unveiled its science strategy?for the next five years.?Kew’s scientific vision is?to document and understand global plant and fungal diversity and its uses, bringing authoritative expertise to bear on the critical challenges facing humanity today.

Kew’s key strategic priorities are:

1. ?To document and conduct research into global plant and fungal diversity?and its uses for humanity.

2. ?To curate and provide data-rich evidence from Kew?s unrivalled?collections as a global asset for scientific research.

3. ?To disseminate scientific knowledge of plants and fungi, maximising?its impact in science, education, conservation policy and management.

Kew has outlined nine exciting and ambitious?strategic outputs that they aim to?deliver by 2020:

  • Plants of the World Online Portal -?an online global resource for plant knowledge.
  • State of the World?s Plants -?an annual cutting-edge horizon scan of the status of the plant kingdom.
  • Tropical Important Plant Areas -? identifying and mapping Tropical Important Plant Areas in seven countries by 2020.
  • The Plant and Fungal Trees of Life – filling?gaps in knowledge of the evolutionary relationships between species.
  • Banking the World?s Seeds – the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership is the largest ex situ plant conservation programme in the world and aims to bank seed from 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020.
  • Useful Plants and Fungi Portal – a?new portal to?provide a window into a wealth of information on the economic and traditional uses of plants and fungi.
  • Digitising the Collections -?making?80% of Kew’s collections (containing approximately?8.5 million items) digitally available by 2020.
  • Training the Next Generation of Plant and?Fungal Scientists -?Kew?s exciting new MSc course in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, Diversity and Conservation will train the next generation of scientists, combining specialist teaching in collections-based science with a field trip to Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot.
  • Science in the Gardens – using?new technologies, behind the scenes events featuring Kew?scientists and a new annual Children’s Science Festival to bring science to life for visitors to the gardens.

Kew asserts that these outputs will make a?vital?contribution to?plant and fungal science, education, policy and conservation management worldwide.

For more information, go to?http://www.kew.org/.

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