The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and TEALEAVES Announce Their Attendance at the World Biodiversity Forum

At the inaugural World Biodiversity Forum in Davos, Switzerland in February, TEALEAVES and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Botanical Garden will facilitate a collaborative framework to preserve biodiversity through a network of international organizations.

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and TEALEAVES Announce Their Attendance at the World Biodiversity Forum
Zurich, Switzerland, February 14, 2020 --( The first inaugural World Biodiversity Forum will be held following the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland from February 23-28, 2020. The Forum brings together leading researchers, practitioners, and decision-makers from different sectors to re­define the agen­da for biodiversity, achieved over the course of 5 days through panel discussions and interactive workshops.

The two-part session and workshop presented by the UBC Botanical Garden and TEALEAVES (Session 163S & Session 156W) will bring together perspectives from academia, corporations, and NGOs illustrating the connection between biodiversity and public health, reinforcing the role of botanical gardens as “idea libraries.”

“These sessions will demonstrate the value of non-traditional partnership based on commonality,” says UBC Botanical Garden Director, Patrick Lewis. “The World Biodiversity Forum will see a convergence between researchers and actors unified in commitment to biodiversity and an interest in the intersection of nature and design.”

The Case for Engagement

“The World Biodiversity Forum comes at a critical time for the health of the planet and humankind,” says Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, Nobel Prize Laureate and Emeritus Professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. “The devastating increase in extinctions caused by the climate crisis and habitat loss demands urgent attention to mitigation efforts to protect our remaining biodiversity.”

From catalyzing the invention of critical pharmaceuticals to prevent a looming pandemic to inspiring durable physical structures, biomimicry - the practise of observing, understanding, and recreating the processes or materials that have evolved in biodiversity - is a wellspring of knowledge that remains underutilized. While art and design have long been influenced by the natural world, it is only in recent decades that there has been prominent recognition that science and engineering can find untapped solutions through biodiversity.

“We want to help create a movement and demonstrate that the for-profit sector can be part of the solution, furthering the goals of the social and public sector through fostering multi-layered partnerships to address global challenges,” says Lana Sutherland, TEALEAVES Co-Founder and CEO. “We believe that biomimicry as a design discipline is a compelling story for the case for biodiversity as it speaks to a different audience, and offers a means to solve the problems that humanity is facing today.”

Session Convenors
Professor Jas Pal Badyal, FRS & Professor of Chemistry, Durham University
Dr. Paul Kersey, Deputy Director of Science, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Dr. Robert S. Lawrence, Nobel Prize Laureate, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future
Patrick Lewis, Director, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
Dr. Aoife Mac Namara, President, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design
Daniel Mosquin, Research Manager, University of British Columbia Botanical Garden
Francesca Racioppi, Senior Policy and Programme Adviser, Environment and Health Policy and Governance for Europe, World Health Organisation
Albert Shum, CVP of Design, Experiences & Devices Group, Microsoft
Dr. Paul Smith, Secretary General, Botanic Gardens Conservation International
Lana Sutherland, Co-founder & CEO, TEALEAVES

More details found at

About World Biodiversity Forum

First of its kind, the World Bio­di­ver­si­ty Fo­rum brings to­geth­er lead­ing re­searchers, ear­ly ca­reer re­searchers, prac­ti­tion­ers, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from dif­fer­ent sec­tors, de­ci­sion-mak­ers and so­ci­etal ac­tors in con­ver­sa­tion, pro­viding a plat­form for ex­change, cov­er­ing a wide range of per­spec­tives, and cap­tur­ing a di­ver­si­ty of vi­sions. The Forum aims to re­de­fine and set the agen­da for bio­di­ver­si­ty as a fo­cal point over the next 10 years in cur­rent themes and top­ics across sec­tors.


Established in 1994, TEALEAVES is one of the very few tea blenders in the world, known for crafting the highest quality teas in small batches by hand. TEALEAVES strives for perfection, driven by the never-ending quest to make the perfect cup of tea. With the philosophy of inspiring creativity and connections through the art of blending, TEALEAVES has gripped the hearts and minds of five-star hotels and Michelin Star chefs, worldwide, as their tea brand of choice for over two decades. Sourcing ingredients from over 90 countries, TEALEAVES hopes to stay people’s “cup of tea” for generations to come, whether in a five-star environment or in the luxury of one’s home. More information is available at

About UBC Botanical Garden

UBC Botanical Garden is Canada’s oldest university botanic garden, established in 1916 under the directorship of John Davidson, British Columbia’s first provincial botanist.

The original mission of the garden was research into the native flora of British Columbia. Over the past 100 years, the mission of UBC Botanical Garden has broadened to include education, research, conservation, community outreach, and public display of temperate plants from around the world.
Madeline Macdonald