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News

Jul 28, 2014

The Romanian government, Greenpeace and WWF have started the nomination process for the virgin beech forests of Romania to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. The designation process and all the procedures related to it will take approximately two years.

Jul 25, 2014

The benefits of using native species in large scale rehabilitation and restoration projects are highlighted in a new publication from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

News

Jun 6, 2014

FAO publishes first global study of forest genetic resources

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released on 3rd June 2014 the first edition of The State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources report.

FAO_report_cover

Genetic diversity ensures that forests and trees can survive, adapt and evolve under changing environmental conditions. The safeguarding and sustainable management of Forest Genetic Resources (FGR) are thus essential to ensure forest conservation and the maintenance of the many goods and services they provide.

FGR are nevertheless under great pressure, as a consequence of human activity and changes in land-use. Data collected in the report demonstrates that current awareness of the importance of FGR conservation is insufficient, with only about 3 percent of the world's tree species actively managed for the products and services they provide.

Governments are therefore called to action and encouraged to implement the Global Plan of Action for Forest Genetic Resources adopted by the FAO Conference in June 2013.

Recommendations made by FAO aiming to improve the situation of the world's FGR include the establishment of FGR international cooperation programmes and networks. In this regard, the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) is mentioned as an example of an active network dealing with this topic.

EUFORGEN was established in October 1994 as a pan-European implementation mechanism of Strasbourg Resolution S2 (Conservation of forest genetic resources) of the first FOREST EUROPE Ministerial Conference, held in France in 1990. It aims to promote the conservation and appropriate use of FGR as part of sustainable forest management in Europe. This initiative acts as a platform for collaboration in this area, bringing together scientists, managers, policy-makers and other stakeholders to exchange information and experiences, and to develop methods and tools (genetic conservation strategies, technical guidelines, distribution maps of European forest trees, databases, publications and reports) for better management of FGR.

FAO's report is based in the information provided by 86 countries from all over the world, and information gathered in different regional and sub-regional consultations and thematic studies.

The State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources report can be downloaded from this link: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3825e.pdf

More information on EUFORGEN can be found at this link: http://www.euforgen.org/