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A newly published report presents an overview of the genetic conservation of forest trees in the Nordic countries. The purpose of the report, which is the first of its kind, is to highlight what is being done in the different countries, investigate how the strategies of forest genetic resources can be implemented and to identify future possibilities and challenges.

Forest genetic resources are invaluable on many different levels and absolutely crucial for a sustainable forestry in climate change. There are several strategies for how we should take care of the genetic diversity needed for creating strong and resilient forests. Each country is responsible for implementing the strategies that can be found on both global, European and national levels. One example is that the European Forest Genetic Programme (


) have set up minimum requirements for how genetic diversity should be conserved in existing trees in the Nordic forests (in situ

). This report is focusing on these requirements.

“It is very exciting to see how the Nordic countries are fulfilling their responsibilities for conserving forest genetic resources. It’s evident that we have much to learn from each other and that there are many potential synergy effects with Nordic cooperation”, NordGen Forest’s section leader Kjersti Bakkebø Fjellstad said.

Well on their way

The report called ”Genetic conservation of forest trees in the Nordic countries” has been compiled by NordGen Forest’s Nordic working group for forest genetic resources. Mari Mette Tollefsrud is chair of the group and working as a forest researcher at


in Norway. “Even though the Nordic countries have very different prerequisites for forestry, this report shows that the Nordic countries are well on their way when it comes to implementing global and European recommendation nationally. But we can also see that there are areas that can be developed. Evaluating the taken measures and identifying the gaps and further steps for conservation would be well suited for a Nordic collaboration”, she said.

The report is also focusing on the need for conservation areas for additional tree species and more specified climatic zones. It also discusses if it’s sufficient to conserve forest genetic resources in their natural habitats (in situ

) or if for instance cryo-preservation or other additional ex situ

measures would be needed.

The full report ”Genetic Conservation of forest trees in the Nordic countries” can be read and downloaded here.