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Forest Europe

UNECE Forestry and Timber


Project Coordinator

European Forest Institute


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).


Mar 3, 2013

Genetic Conservation of Forest Trees Improved through pan-European Collaboration

EUFORGEN experts just published an article Translating conservation genetics into management: Pan-European minimum requirements for dynamic conservation units of forest tree genetic diversity.
This article provides European countries with common guidelines on how to apply conservation genetics in practice, and how genetic conservation units of forest trees should be managed. The distribution ranges of many European forest trees extend across large geographical areas and cover many countries with different forest management traditions and practices. This situation hampered conservation assessments and international reporting efforts. Furthermore, it created problems for identifying gaps in the conservation efforts and for developing genetic conservation strategies for forest trees at the pan-European level.

The article discusses theoretical and practical aspects of genetic management of forest trees and uses Europe as a case study. It presents pan-European minimum requirements for genetic conservation units of forest trees that are scientifically sound and practically feasible to implement in different countries. It also suggests further actions for improving the genetic management of tree populations. The minimum requirements are based on the concept of dynamic conservation of genetic diversity, i.e. maintenance of evolutionary processes within natural or man-made tree populations and their adaptive potential across tree generations. The requirements are already used by over 30 European countries.

Forests harbour most of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity and trees are the keystone species of forest ecosystems maintaining their structure and function. Between 50,000 and 100,000 tree species are estimated to exist globally and many of them are also an important component in other ecosystems, such as agricultural landscapes. The genetic diversity of trees is crucial for adaptation of forests to climate change and for sustaining other species and entire forest ecosystems.

EUFORGEN is a collaborative programme among European countries to promote conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources. It serves as a platform for pan-European collaboration in this area, bringing together scientists, managers, policy-makers and other stakeholders. EUFORGEN was established in October 1994 as an implementation mechanism of Strasbourg Resolution S2 (Conservation of forest genetic resources) of the first Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), now known as FOREST EUROPE, held in France in 1990. The Programme also contributes to implementation of other FOREST EUROPE ( commitments on forest genetic resources and relevant decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

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