Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay signs MOU with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a leading scientific organisation in the UK and the collaboration will have a focus on knowledge exchange between the two institutions

Gardens by the Bay has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the UK’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It will facilitate collaboration between the two institutions in the areas of staff exchange, cooperative scientific research, as well as the exchange of plant and research materials.

Gardens by the Bay is a national garden and premier horticultural attraction located in the heart of Singapore’s downtown. With a collection of more than 1.5 million plants from all over the world, it is renowned for its 18 groundbreaking vertical gardens known as Supertrees, as well as its two climate-controlled cooled conservatories, Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, which allow temperate plants to thrive in the tropics for all to enjoy.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is respected internationally for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant diversity, conservation and sustainable development. Kew Gardens is a top attraction for visitors to London and its wild botanic garden in Sussex, Wakehurst is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank. Kew has one overseas research base in Madagascar also.

The MOU – the first between the two institutions – was signed by Mr. Richard Deverell, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Mr. Felix Loh, CEO of Gardens by the Bay. Mr. Loh is in London with Gardens by the Bay’s Chairman Mr. Niam Chiang Meng and its Board of Directors, as part of a study trip to understand leading horticultural practices and keep abreast of the latest international garden trends. The delegation also visited the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show and iconic British gardens such as RHS Garden Wisley and Eden Project.

As part of the MOU, there will be opportunities for staff exchange to increase understanding of plant species in both gardens, as well as the care of flora from all over the world. Such exchanges will also facilitate a wider understanding of the operational aspects of how these gardens are managed, as well as the research and development climate of each garden.

In addition, there will be opportunities for both parties to exchange plant germplasm, which are catered to tropical climate and climate-controlled greenhouses.

Gardens by the Bay CEO Mr. Loh said, “The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a renowned botanical institution, and we hope this partnership will open up new and exciting opportunities, particularly in Gardens by the Bay’s core mission of horticulture, conservation and environmental sustainability. These are areas that both gardens feel deeply passionate about, and that gardens of tomorrow play a key role in, to create a better and greener future.”

Mr. Deverell, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said, “We are a global institution with three sites – at Kew, Wakehurst and Madagascar – and our partnerships globally are critical to efforts to address the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. We are thrilled to be working more closely with Gardens by the Bay in Singapore to ensure that we not only train the next generation of experts but also share knowledge and data in a productive way to support science and inform strong environmental policy for the future.”

In 2022, Gardens by the Bay joined more than 220 gardens in the UK and overseas to become a Partner Garden of Royal Horticultural Society.