Navigation Links
New project will collect vital knowledge about tree genetic resources to support conservation
Date:5/11/2011

NAIROBI (5 May 2011) A workshop in Nairobi, Kenya last week saw representatives from 43 African nations participate in an ambitious project to document the status of the world's forest genetic resources; a vital step in conserving and sustainably managing forests.

"Forest genetic resources are unique and irreplaceable; from plants that provide timber and essential nourishment when crops fail to those that may be used in future medicines," explains Oudara Souvannavong, Senior Forestry Officer with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and coordinator of the project.

"It is urgent that we document the status of these resources," says Souvannavong. "This knowledge is essential if we are to conserve and sustainably manage forests across the globe."

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is coordinating the project in collaboration with Bioversity International, the World Agroforestry Centre and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

This is the first time such a study has been undertaken for forest genetic resources, while many livestock and crop genetic resources are already well documented.

The Nairobi workshop is the first in a series of workshops in the region designed to guide African country-driven reports that when combined with reports from other continents will comprise the State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources.

"Without this knowledge, the trees that millions of people rely on may be threatened," said Dr Ramni Jamnadass, Global Project Leader, Tree Genetic Resources and Domestication at the World Agroforestry Centre.

"In Africa, we expect to cover more than 3,000 species," she adds. "This includes trees inside and outside forests that people depend on for food, timber, fodder, fertilizer and other uses."

Dr Jamnadass further explains how conserving genetic diversity is safeguarding against future risk.

"In East Africa, we have learnt how deforestation and the over-exploitation of forests are threatening the genetic diversity of anti-malarial tree species. For this reason, we are holding samples of most of the species with antimalarial qualities in our genebank and growing these trees in nurseries. Our genebank holds close to 200 species in total, of which at least 30 are known to have anti-malarial properties."

"It is critical that we gather as comprehensive data as possible about genetic diversity before this information is lost forever."

At the last conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010, the importance of conserving and sustainably using forest biodiversity was highlighted, especially in relation to maintaining the resilience of forest ecosystems in the setting of human-induced climate change and other global challenges.

Forest tree species are generally long lived and extremely genetically diverse. One species can naturally occur in a broad range of ecological conditions. In addition, forest species have evolved under several periods of climatic change; their high genetic variability provides the capability to adapt to emerging climatic conditions.

"Forest genetic resources have provided the potential for adaptation in the past, and will continue to provide this vital role as we address the challenge of mitigating or adapting to further climate changes," says Souvannavong.

It will take two years for the final State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources to be prepared, and it will include information on status and trends and identify needs, gaps and priorities as the basis for developing a framework for action at national, regional, eco-regional and global levels.

"Conservation of forest genetic resources must be integrated into broader national and local development programmes, such as national forest programmes, rural development plans and poverty reduction strategies, which promote cooperation among sectors," Souvannavong adds.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kate Langford
k.langford@cgiar.org
World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Project aims to fuse top-down, bottom-up approaches in systems biology
2. €12 million ($16.9 million) project to develop new tools for malaria control
3. Uncertain future for Joshua trees projected with climate change
4. BGI to Play Pivotal Sampling, Next-Generation Sequencing and Bioinformatics Role in Earth Microbiome Project
5. Drier conditions projected to accelerate dust storms in the southwest
6. Climate projections show human health impacts possible within 30 years
7. Former ASPB president leading sustainable bioenergy education project
8. $4 million project to protect Irish and Scottish waterways
9. LCD projector used to control brain and muscles of tiny organisms such as worms
10. Water, water everywhere focus of new sustainability project
11. Grants fund projects that will tackle Grand Challenges
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/6/2017)... 5, 2017 RAM Group , ... new breakthrough in biometric authentication based on a ... properties to perform biometric authentication. These new sensors are ... created by Ram Group and its partners. This sensor ... supply chains and security. Ram Group is a ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... , April 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert ... a media edge server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid ... software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the ... the NAB show at the Las Vegas ... ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market by ... Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to ... USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, at ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... USDM Life ... for the life sciences and healthcare industries, announces a presentation by Subbu Viswanathan ... The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for Agile Cloud Platforms,” will present a revolutionary ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... N.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... At ... announced Dr. Christopher Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, ... Stubbs was a member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available ... bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... October 05, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading ... around the world, is giving back to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting ... Now through October 31, shoppers can use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent ...
Breaking Biology Technology: