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NordGen's mission and statues, along with strategic documents and international agreements, provide directions for our work. The describe our work and mandate at a general level. Annual grant letters from the Nordic Council of Ministers guide our operations at a more detailed level. The Kalmar declaration, a Nordic ministerial declaration from 2003 with updates in 2023, is central for our work.

NordGen is the Nordic countries' genebank and knowledge center for genetic resources. We conserve and promote a sustainable use of genetic resources important for the Nordic agriculture and forestry.

NordGen’s mission:

  • We safeguard the Nordic genetic resources and facilitate the sustainable use for agriculture, horticulture and forestry, for current and future generations.
  • We provide knowledge and genetic material to facilitate sustainable food and feed production and other biobased solutions in the Nordic region’s changing climate.


The scope of our work is governed by statutes. NordGen’s existing statutes were approved by the Nordic Ministers for Co-operation on September 10, 2014 and came into force on January 1, 2015. Article 1 states that “Nordic Genetic Resource Center (NordGen) shall be a Nordic knowledge center for genetic resources and sustainable use of these and promote a global fair distribution of utilization of genetic resources.”

The Kalmar declaration 

The Kalmar declaration regulates access and rights to genetic resources in the Nordic Countries and states that all seed samples that are kept in the gene bank, with few exceptions, are under joint Nordic administration and are publicly available. The Kalmar declaration is a ministerial declaration signed by the Nordic ministers for agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, agriculture, food and forestry. In 2023, the Kalmar declaration was updated in accordance with technical advancements and new fields of genetic resources that was not mentioned in the earlier version.