Conservation of forest genetic resources and sustainable forest management in Europe

J. Koskela, S.M.G. de Vries, L. Gil, C. Mátyás, M. Rusanen, L. Paule

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperAcademic

Abstract

Considerable efforts have been made to enhance conservation of forest genetic resources and to promote sustainable forest management in Europe over the past decade. The need to enhance genetic conservation emerged from a concern about the impacts of environmental pollution and genetic erosion on forest ecosystems in the late 1980s. The concept of sustainable forest management, in a roader sense, gained ground in Europe after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 paid special attention to the role of forest ecosystems in maintaining and conserving biological diversity. Several Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe were organised in the 1990s and this was a major political process pushing forward improvements in these two areas. In 1994, the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme was set up as an implementation mechanism of the Strasbourg Resolution (1990) on the conservation of forest genetic resources. In the same year, Pan-European Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management were also adopted following the Helsinki Resolution (1993) on sustainable forest management. In many European countries, however, more resources have been channelled into habitat and species conservation while fewer resources have been allocated to the development of national programmes on forest genetic resources. Less than 30% of European countries have such programmes, which are necessary for implementing gene conservation in practical forestry. Subsequently, these programmes should be better linked with the overall national forest programmes, which are developing policies for the whole forest sector and also allocating resources for implementing sustainable forest management. The pan-European criteria and indicators include genetic indicators in rather operational ways, but there is a need to improve monitoring of genetic sustainability by developing commonly agreed technical terminology. This would facilitate the collection of relevant data and make the data comparable internationally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSilviculture and the conservation of genetic resources for sustainable forest management
EditorsJ. Beaulieu
Place of PublicationSainte-Foy (Quebec, Canada)
PublisherLaurentian Forestry Centre
Pages9-19
ISBN (Print)9780662359371
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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