Against the background of continuing global forest destruction, the top priority of international forest policy is to make an effective contribution to halting deforestation and further degradation of forests. This is also an important contribution to the internationally coordinated UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the protection of the climate, the conservation of biological diversity and the fight against desertification, but also to the goal of poverty reduction, especially in rural Areas.
EuropeanForest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN)
Germany has been involved in the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) since its inception.
EUFORGEN aims to promote the conservation and sustainable utilization of forest genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The member countries work together on a voluntary basis to promote the conservation of forest genetic resources in situ and ex situ, to coordinate measures, to exchange ideas and to disseminate information.
EUFORGEN is funded by the member countries and coordinated by the European Forestry Institute (EFI) in cooperation with the Forest Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). International activities are coordinated between the member countries. The supervisory function is performed by a steering committee composed of the national coordinators nominated by the member countries. Germany has been involved in the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) since its inception in 1994. The Institute of Forest Genetics of the Thünen Institute provides the national coordinator of Germany.
European Information System on Forest Genetic Resources (EUFGIS)
The European Information System on Forest Genetic Resources (EUFGIS) objective is to improve the documentation of forest genetic resources in the pan-European area. EUFGIS is developed and maintained within the framework of EUFORGEN. The database serves as a documentation platform for national inventories of forest genetic resources and to support gene conservation and sustainable forest management in Europe.
As of July 2018, the database contains over 3132 conservation stocks of 103 tree species from 34 countries. Germany is currently represented in the database with 130 gene conservation units for 22 tree species. The Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) has been designated as the NFP (national focal point) for Germany in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), Division 515 and the Institute for Forest Genetics at the Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institute (EUFORGEN national coordinator).
Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)
The FAO, and in particular the FAO Commission for Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
( CGRFA), plays a central role in the international negotiation and coordination process for the conservation and sustainable utilization of agrobiodiversity. Since 2011, the Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources at CGRFA (Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources, ITWG-FGR) has been supporting international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable utilization of forest genetic resources. Based on the first State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources report (SOW-FGR; 2014), a Global Plan of Action on the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources was agreed. The first monitoring of the implementation of the Global Plan of Action is currently underway.