“The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources” (SOW-FGR), released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in September, addresses the conservation, management and sustainable use of forest trees and other woody plant genetic resources of actual and potential value for human well-being in the broad range of management systems.
However, while on the one hand it is clear that forests provide vital environmental services and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people; on the other that the world is not only increasingly confronted with challenges from increased human population, land-use changes and climate change, but also from lack of reliable data on the status and trends of forest genetic resources, notes the report.
FAO, therefore sees this first ever report on the State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources as a milestone in building the information and knowledge base required for action at the national, regional and international levels. According to the report, lack of information limits the capacity of many countries and the international community to develop appropriate policy tools to address the issues or to integrate forest genetic resources management into relevant cross-cutting sectorial policies.
The report has been developed through a country-driven process, building on 86 country reports, representing over 85 per cent of global forest cover; and with the participation of representatives from national institutions and nongovernmental and community-based organisations.
This report complements two other FAO flagship publications in the field of forestry, the annual State of the World’s Forests and the periodic Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA).