Tree planting dominates political and popular agendas, often portrayed as an easy answer to the climate crisis and effective mitigation for corporate carbon emissions. But it is not a simple solution and planting the wrong trees in the wrong place can cause considerably more damage than benefits, failing to benefit either people or nature.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) will jointly convene three days of online discussion and debate on best practice and policy, underpinned by scientific evidence, to go beyond the headlines and find ways of raising the standard of global reforestation.

The conference will create a global hub of expertise and innovative thinking to ensure that reforestation delivers benefits, not just for carbon capture but also for biodiversity and human wellbeing.  It will focus on finding workable, evidence-based solutions for reforestation to benefit biodiversity, carbon capture and livelihoods – questioning assumptions, showcasing success stories, identifying challenges and encouraging new, integrative approaches.

Ahead of this conference, Kew, BGCI and international partners have highlighted the environmental risks of large-scale tree planting schemes, in a review published in the journal Global Change Biology. Within the review we propose “ten golden rules” for reforestation, based on the latest scientific evidence, to maximise benefits for people and the planet.

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