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Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, speaks at our Healthy Cities forum

Kew's metal hive

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is speaking at our 'Healthy Cities' forum on 9th October in the Royal Victoria Docks, London.

Kew is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage site with landscapes and architecture preserved from every stage of the garden's history. With over 8.5 million items, Kew houses the largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world, representing 95% of known flowering plant genera and more than 60% of known fungal genera.

Scientists at Kew believe there is still much to be understood about the way plants and fungi can help solve critical challenges. This month they have released concerning research describing the impact of climate change on coffee farming in Ethiopia, predicting that 60% of the coffee growing area could be unsuitable for production if warming continues.

Cambridge University academic, David Cope, who is Policy Fellow at the Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy and also Director of Strategy & External Affairs at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, says this research is vital and other research may have to go even beyond discussions of climate change:

'As scientists, we explore, document and share knowledge, but we must engage the public to create a society that wants to conserve plants and fungi so that all aspects of society, including governments, invest in supporting this goal.

'Disconnection from nature has many societal bads including poor wellbeing...we must reverse the decline of the environment in the political agenda and ensure it isn't just squeezed into the 'climate change box'...we must seek to open the eyes of the electorate to create a society that demands actions from governments'

David wants a rethink on cities as ecosystems, with humans and infrastructure as part of the ecosystem and asks the question - how can we learn from less developed countries and ensure global development pathways avoid nature disconnection?

Visit The Hive (above) to learn about bee activity in real time.

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