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In case of extreme events, entire animal populations can be wiped out, since farm animal and fish genetic resources are most often small and locally adapted populations. The native breeds show large adaptation potential and may become crucial for increased resilience of the Nordic agriculture.
Conserving animal genetic resources outside of the animal’s natural habitat, ex situ, is a great complement to conservation in its natural habitat. This is usually done by using “cryogenic preservation techniques” — the collection and freezing in liquid nitrogen of semen, ova or embryos, or the preservation of DNA segments in frozen blood or other tissues.
The NordFrost project is building a network of Nordic key stakeholders with the aim of raising awareness among researchers, policy makers, genebank institutions and farmers about the importance of common guidelines and goals for cryoconservation.
The NordFrost network will include a broad group of stakeholders enabling people from different backgrounds to meet, share experiences and create joint efforts to the conservation of native farm animal and fish breeds. This will contribute to Nordic food security and self-sufficiency, as well as conserving the unique biodiversity of the numerous native breeds found in the Nordic region.