A new partnership between the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Hay Festival has been announced. The partnership was launched in Wales with a Kew-sponsored discussion, featuring Kew International Medal winner, Mary Robinson, in conversation with climate scientist Emily Shuckburgh. The discussion focused on Mary’s latest book, Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future.
The partnership will go global at Hay Festival events in Mexico, Peru and Colombia over the course of the next year. A series of Kew branded, environmentally focused discussions and lectures will help to foster an understanding of the importance of protecting our planet and its unique biodiversity .
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). Most recently it’s 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. This is 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. It is 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.
Earlier in 2019, Richard Deverell, Director of RBG Kew, delivered a special Hay Festival lecture in the Museo Maloka, Bogotá during his first visit to Colombia, in which he presented his vision for the role of a botanic garden in the 21st century. The new partnership will build on this to include the voices and opinions of leading writers and thinkers across the region.