AGRI GEN RES 009: Establishment of a European Information System on Forest Genetic Resources
The Forest action strengthened national inventories of forest genetic resources (FGR) and supported the practical implementation of FGR conservation as part of sustainable forest management in Europe. The data collected during the project provides a comprehensive picture of the dynamic FGR conservation efforts in Europe. The conservation network consisted of 2360 samples, which are managed for the genetic conservation of nearly 100 tree species. More information regarding the results can be found in the executive summary [2 MB] .
The objectives of the action are:
- To create a Web-based, permanent information system to serve as the European documentation platform for national forest genetic resources (FGR) inventories;
- To establish a network of FGR inventories in 40 countries to provide data for the information system;
- To develop minimum requirements for dynamic gene conservation units of forest trees and common information standards for these units at pan-European level;
- To make available, as a first step, harmonized data on the dynamic gene conservation units of 20 tree species from at least 80 % of the countries within each species’ distribution range in Europe;
- To provide training on FGR documentation to national focal points in these countries.
Actions and means involved
The action will develop minimum requirements for dynamic gene conservation units of forest trees and common information standards for these units at pan-European level. It will then create a Web-based permanent information system on FGR and transform national FGR inventories in Europe into a well-organised network of data providers. The new information system will be based on the existing information systems on crop genetic resources such as the EURISCO catalogue and the System-wide Information Network for Genetic Resources (SINGER).
Principles for sharing and using data from national FGR inventories in the information system will be agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will be signed between Bioversity International (previously International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, IPGRI) as the proposer of this action, and individual countries providing data. By signing the MoU, countries agree to provide data to the information system and continue updating frequently their data in the system. Bioversity International will make a commitment to maintain the information system as part of the activities of the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) once the action has been finalised. The action will organise several workshops and meetings to mobilise the European FGR community to provide additional resources for the implementation of the activities planned. The prototype of the information system will be tested by the partners in six countries before it is launched for large-scale data uploading. The action will also provide training on FGR documentation and the use of the information system to national focal points through four sub-regional training workshops.
Relevance to the objectives
The proposed action contributes to the objectives of the Community programme at national, Community and international level. The action will improve FGR conservation and documentation in the Member States and complements the work carried out by the Member States and other European countries through EUFORGEN.
The results of the action will help Member States use their human and financial resources more effectively for FGR conservation at national and Community levels. Regarding international undertakings on genetic resources, the action contributes to monitoring and reporting of FGR conservation in the Community, in accordance with the Community biodiversity strategy. The action also supports the work of the Ministerial Process on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) and the SEBI2010 process (Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators), and implementation of sustainable forest management in Europe.