Royal Botanical Gardens Kew set to hold rainforest event

Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) Kew is holding a month-long Tropical Extravaganza Festival from 5 February to 6 March 2011.

To coincide with the UN International Year of Forests, the festival will focus on the importance of tropical rainforests, with exotic flowers on display in the Princess of Wales conservatory.

The centrepiece of the festival will be a tree emerging from a pond to represent a flooded rainforest, sculptures of birds found in these areas in the wild and sound recordings. There will also be an area representing a scorched forest.

RBG Kew director Professor Stephen Hopper said: "The habitat with the greatest number of threatened species is the tropical rainforest, where 63 per cent of threatened species are found. Kew accepts that deforestation will continue, but we believe it can be reduced, stopped or reversed by science-based restoration."

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