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Executive Summary The world's forests are declining at unprecedented rates. Losses are resulting directly from clearing to open land for agriculture, ~ roads, and settlements, logging for timber, and cutting for fuel. Indirectly, forests are succumbing to the effects of environmental pollution, and they may be further threatened by climatic changes. Together, these causes have been responsible for decimating many of the world's forests, and they threaten to degrade significantly those that remain. Moreover, the burning of trees, shrubs, and other vegetation during land clearing and after longing further contributes to environ- mental deterioration. OCR for page 1
^ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ !0s#! :; ~ ~{~S~m~ Oregon ~^< Wyman brow; ~ ~ople's \~ ~ ~ ~3 ~ ~p0~s^~rb~ular~attenb~on~i~s yenta those tree species of current or potential eco~n~mi!c Value. ~th^~h~ Seam groups and ~l~stltu~tlon~s ~ - ~ ~ . .. .. . , . ,, ^, ~ ~ . ~ ~ ~ ,~ . . ~ . Guano Ewe maln~ta1n~ectl0~n~s~0~!~e~S~esrmpla~sm (se ~ppen~c~lx C)/ three ~ urgent need to d~eliop grease patios to collect/ con see and use gee genetic ~sou~s Coping Placed toe species to meet sode~1~nesed~scan red~uscethe~th.reats ~ the ~orld's natu~ralfo~~sts by providing al~rnadves to harvesting them. The upon rectum mends actions ~r~main~ini~gaspeties ~i.thinits nag talcum ~un~itytin situ management~a~nd Air mai~ntainin~ pIantedstandsinareasoutsidethei~r norm once and conserving bees as Wed/ pollen~o~rtissu~e cultures (ex situ management). lt also proposes directions for research and

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~c Same / 3 am Hawk Saw ~nbsd~dsi~nd :6 like in Age ~:p^~ gin first of ~01~ ~s~niton~. flits RAW. Bidden Choral , , ^ ~ ~ ^ , ~ ~ ~< tic ~tv: in.sti~bo~ that Chad address Me powers ~ We loss at national' regions, and ~te~atobal Mills: inter also ~#ses~ a glow titrate gnawed on an HI Stun and suggest gays in Rich ^^ an Son cd Nest. Cat 30 pedant of We Ads i^-~ee land surface is mast gland. Be Baas of Me Worlds Edgy combed between ~.8 Elton ha (Council o!n En nm-~1 ~upIi~ and U.S. pant of Stage 1~ and 4.5 Lion ha, fir an am equal to the %~ of Norm and Saw Credo Avoid Resources InshOte et al, Em). ~ areas include the moist On Casts, the most comply, species~dcb em systems in the Todd Maw off the Nate Vernon and ove~p- ping of pees are res~onsib~ far an estimated ~ dean of 2 billion ha of Spin Lasts (Wood et al., 1962~. Salt has ban commonly estimated that in topple Crests alone an alga equal to the sue of Cuate~ma~, 11 Lillian ha, is lost annually. Not only am $37.~5 bonbon in aged exams to developed nations tbrea~ned' eat Without Media .

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~f~s1~ Ha ~S ~_ ~!el~ood spies ^~sthe~!end~o~{ ~th#~#t~t)~c63t(~!! pod and A~g~cultu~ ~O-n~a#~on,~ ~1~.~ ~ ~ ! ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ I ~ am ~ Is ~ ~ as ~ ~/he#~$p~sts~dedi#~e ~ ~0~ ~!a{~ ~(mov~d~>~t3, 1< #~!S ~- !$~t#Y comet ~!S ?~t ~!~P!~'~!i~?'a c~n~ti6~!~!~!~<~3l6.~ 61~13~ ~-o-lhi~s~of~ fits Want Wades Extinct ## thlm<in~e#~!s~.~ lit Is~!!~th#~#latI6~n~6f!~t6~is dial laity a. . by Sari ~.nd!~ sde~tists~ fan! arts p~d!uc~d the Sly ~pr~d~cti~ve~d~ fonf6rthe Buncioning of many ecosystems. Through photosynthesis, essentially tie only mechanism of energy input into the living world, tags use carbon divide in tag atmosphere to Pearce the oxygen necessary to support lair.- They also contribute to Helping find maintaining soil structure .., find ~il~itv. Forests hold soil a~i~nst erosion. and they gradation or _ _ ~ ~ ,. removal has exace#~d such Ems as Cash Lading and s~imen tationin reservoir. are found to a broad sped am cT ~nd~use sys~ns, fawn

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~ ~ ^ -I I: ~ ~ army, ^~^ - a. Eta ~ population flies on Ens fir era Asia Id or Shoal. Credit: Food ad ~0~ go. ~ played and managed systems to nasally occ~#ng stands. The variety of~s~ucb systems an be Cowed into thee clasps: a#~fo~st~ (aged' ldenti~ing, sampling, Austin OCR for page 1
/ Beef ~ far use. Me number of Me spades that could be candidates fur d~vd6-e~nt doubled at last double the ~0 shreds idled bv the . , . ~ . , c~m#ittey as having been teased or included in Edit Prods (4~#eidix~).~E~A~t least tenfold god Typical ~S~s~pecies~s~l t~sted~in~br< ~ , . ~ ~ ~ ~ . ~ ^ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . ef#Hs a~~not~gene~=l~ly~pisedi~on~kn -~l~edge~#f~#c~lnvento#~6f~the rids'~s*~cst+rieedes~.~lteJa~9r~propo~iSn~6f~tree~speCi6~< ~r+#nt~ ii~E~t~stins a!nd:Et~ed~!ng~!~rog~ m#~are~)om ~ Operates #*io~s~(see 4pp#~nd~i~ by. Efforts are~/eeied! (~#dd~inf6rm/#on~on (opical~6d s~bbopich~l reef ~t~espede~s~# so#.th~and sdEthea~st Asia tropical . , .. , . ~ ~ . s . . . i~Ci~/ E a~d~ta~n~3e~cASE6s)2no~s~divtisi~ in~r)~andso~fh~edd :: ~::S~S~:sEsEsSSSE::~: ~ ~ : ~ EEL :~::::::~:~:E : EE ~,~:E E:E~ ::S~ : ~ ::: S::~E:::E~ I: I:::: sp~ie~ipccu~#ve~reenh(#4ippiS]~a~d~d)cidu^~s ~rests(~.S Carol, ~l~dia~Cbundl~df A~ ~l~l~Research>~# ~Oelhi,pers~nal co~#n~aboq;~Oc~*er1989).~ ~ At this ~ en p~mscon~sere~the~ehe~c ~sou~sEo~fspecie~s that hA~venocurentp~du~ion value and that age outside any ecosystem ~ I . In Cogs Bay, O~gon, ~ ship loads logs bound far Japan. Credit: Tames P Blair ~Nabosnal Gegg~phic View.

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Executive Summary / 7 reserve or protected area. One notable example is the Central America and Mexico Coniferous Resources Cooperative at North Carolina State University which holds unique collections of several potentially useful species. Conservation of species that serve vital functions for ecosystems, commercial production, recreation, or other social values, but that are not now included in protected areas, has also been neglected. Tabebuia impetiginosa in Brazil, for example, is useful for its wood as well as other functions, is vulnerable to loss, but is not being conserved in any in situ or ex situ program. A need exists not only to expand current efforts, but also to coordinate the setting of priorities to increase the number and diversity of species conserved. STRUCTURE OF GENETIC VARIATION IN TREES Managing the genetic resources of trees requires an understanding of the biological dynamics of the populations in which they exist. In particular, knowledge of the diversity and distribution of genes in a tree population is crucial to genetic management, because genetic information makes it possible to predict the likelihood of gene loss in a population and to develop strategies to prevent such depletion. Under- standing genetic structure in a tree species will make it possible to collect the genetic diversity of natural populations efficiently and to ensure their conservation. The extent and pattern of genetic diversity in forest trees are strongly influenced by their mating systems and the movement of genes between dispersed populations of the same species (gene flow). Mating systems in forest trees are varied and range from mechanisms to ensure outcrossing (pollination by other individuals in the population), such as among Pious (pine) species, to mechanisms for inbreeding (self- pollination), such as among some Eucalyptus species. Designing reserves for trees, that is, their sizes, shapes, and distributions, requires an understanding of reproductive biology. However, knowledge in this area remains limited, especially for tropical species. Gene flow affects the degree to which individual populations of trees are genetically isolated. An understanding of this is important when designing in situ reserves or ex situ conservation stands to ensure that genetic diversity is preserved. Gene flow, and thus gene distribution, is also important when collecting samples from tree populations to obtain a range of genetic diversity for ex situ conservation. Measuring genetic diversity in trees has typically been done by either provenance testing or electrophoretic analysis of enzymes. The former - 1

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8 / Forest Trees involves visual observations of the differences between tree samples grown under similar conditions at different sites. Trees, especially exotics, grown in unsuitable provenances may die, have dieback, or display unsuitable form. The latter compares the number and variety of specific classes of enzymes present in the samples being tested. Both techniques show that forest trees, in general, contain considerable genetic variation. It is not known, however, to what degree the variation revealed by electrophoretic surveys reflects genetic differences in the capacity of individual trees to compete or adapt. Further, electrophoretic variation can be indicative of genetic variation, but results from electro- phoretic analyses also can be affected by physiological states or envi- ronmental conditions. Thus, the degree to which electrophoretic data can be correlated with the data from provenance testing is ambiguous; sometimes the data are similar, but often, as in the case of Pseudotsuga (Douglas fir), they are quite different (El-Kassaby, 1982~. Despite the heterogeneity of forest trees, genes may not be distributed randomly in a tree population and, thus, sampling of the diversity within a population may be complicated. Current data suggest that for wind-pollinated, widely spread species sampling a small number of populations may be sufficient (Hamrick, 1983), but for species like Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) and Quercus velutirla (red oak), which grow in many isolated populations, sampling a larger number may be required to ensure an unbiased sample of genetic diversity. Geographic, climatic, and biological factors affect the distribution of genes in a species. For the majority of forest trees, however, knowledge of genetic structure is sparse, and knowledge of the degree to which such characteristics as drought tolerance, growth, and disease resistance are heritable is still deficient, although growing. Such information is necessary to develop reliable and effective methods of sampling the total genetic diversity of tree populations. RECOMMENDATIONS Important opportunities for confronting the challenges of managing the world's forest tree resources have been identified. New and increased efforts will be needed in developing and applying genetic management techniques. Research and development are required to address funda- mental issues and information needs. Institutional efforts, particularly at the national level, must be strengthened. Finally leadership is urgently needed to develop and facilitate a global strategy for conserving and managing the world's tree genetic resources.

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E~r I / ~ Pugh ~.^re~station measly, hazy ~u=~lvptus toes am used far salad dune fixation in Sen~e~l.. This effort is pay of local {o~munit~y development activities and land reclean proiiec~ fir agriculture Credit: Food and Subculture ^ . . ~ ~ ~anl~tl^- Gc"~dc ems {e~4 ^ connation of in situ and ax situ. techniques ~i~l.l be needed for any rabbi, re~io~nal/ or national efforts to conserve and manage the g~net~reyources of geese in site an-d ~y situ methods. a~ Ken as compJemen~/ not opposing, Methodologies. In situ cpn~seration provides the oppo~u#! to preserve the b~oa~desf An. of spsedes' but ax situ collations may ~ among app~p~riate~ Ruben guess to sac. well~st~died, or threatened poppl~ti~ons is desired. ^~r ~ Sea ~i ~ SO Hems ma. 1~ rife ~) ~ sari ,~ !~ =~s~. !, J~i use Beef fag Cast ~ so ~i fo ens of ~sf ~ Fuji i~r S~; l) s>6 #f ~ few ~E~ortstoco~nse~rveand~manage tree ge~neLcresour~e~sd!o~notencom- pass global needs. Deficiencies exist ~oth.~.~n information and in the exten.tofactivities.For many species of~cognized potential~aiue new eggs are needed Pyrex gnu conserva~on.In bopicaland sub ~ p\~1 . . ~ . .

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101 Forest Trees regions, where species diversity is greatest, many more species should be conserved in situ. In Situ Management Long-term, in situ genetic management plans should be developed, especially for tropical and subtropical species. In situ management of trees typically refers to conservation in undisturbed nature reserves, managed nature reserves, and national parks. It can also include planned and managed plantings of trees within the native environment of the species. This is somewhat different from in situ management for crop plants, wherein such planted stands are generally considered a form of ex situ conservation. The design of in situ conservation schemes is still primitive. Little is known of the nature of current and future stresses that can affect even local mortality and extinction rates for most tree species. Until more is known about the population sizes and structures necessary to prevent genetic loss, a large degree of genetic redundancy for conserved species will be needed. Ex Situ Management Development and application of technologies for the ex situ conservation of pollen, seed, and tissue cultures, as a supplement to in situ maintenance, should be encouraged. One example of ex situ management is the organization by several working groups of the International Union of Forestry Research Orga- nizations (IUFRO) of a large number of collections and tests in Europe of species that are native to North America. Ex situ methods also include maintenance of seed, pollen, tissue cultures, or other sources of genetic material for propagation. Seed storage of many tree species is both possible and practiced, but the long times to maturity and genetic instability during regeneration can make obtaining a new crop of fresh seed an expensive and uncertain process. For many important species of genera such as Quercus (oak), Shorea (mahogany), and Hopea, seeds are short-lived or die when dried for storage. Ex situ methods of tissue culture and cryogenic storage (i.e., storage in or suspended above liquid nitrogen at temperatures from -150C to -196C) could enable long- term maintenance of such species, but further effort is needed to apply these to many tree species. In the future, genetic information in the form of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) libraries may be maintained for tree species.

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Executive Summary 111 Tree collections held as seed are primarily for short- or medium-term storage for use in afforestation (the planting of trees in unforested areas) and reforestation activities. Few programs have long-term objectives, and at present the techniques for regenerating most of these collections are not clearly defined. Methods for the rapid regeneration of stored seed collections are urgently needed. Ex situ stands or planted forests should be developed that can serve as living seed banks, as test and evaluation stands, or as both. The use of ex situ stands of trees for conservation purposes can be applied to many more species than are now included. Relatively small areas can be part of a conservation network that ensures the survival and availability of genetic materials and that provides data on perform- ance over a variety of sites. The integration of such conservation networks with breeding programs and in situ programs could provide a vital link between conserving and effectively using the total gene pool of a species. No global programs to foster such linkages exist, although the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the Nitrogen Fixing Tree Association, and the Oxford Forestry Institute (OFI) have initiated such programs in a few instances, for example, in Leucaena and . . . Acacla species. Exploration, Testing, and Breeding Additional cooperative efforts among nations are needed to develop coordinated programs for exploring, collecting, and evaluating tree genetic resources. When a species is indigenous to several countries and is useful in others, coordinated efforts can have many benefits, such as reducing the number of collection missions needed but allowing a broad range of environments to be sampled. Many eucalypts, Gmelina, teak, and some tropical pines and hardwoods are among the species included in cooperative programs today. Forest genetic resources programs should conserve species that lack clear present or potential value and those that have known potential value. No programs exist to conserve the genetic resources of species that lack clear potential production value or that are not adequately included within ecosystem reserve areas. Few groups or institutions promote the management or conservation of many species that might serve vital functions for ecosystem productivity, recreation, or other diffuse values, but remain outside protected areas. Breeding programs are needed for many species, especially those new to genetic management programs. For many hundreds of species

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the Amazon aver ~sin, 8~1, ~ clad of din Mast ~ ~s~r^~ as 1~ ~ Moron and loss of pi, Whim in tug prompt agrees Flag in peon toasty, Me greatest edges at management are Mused of ~ seed collection stands/ which are ~se!ndally lard, mass-~~lecSon populations. fit ~ species am in brewing programs sufEdently intense Mat ex site con~^abon is included as part of We program. Only ~ R~v ofthela~t~rspedes~s~uch asf\~idfs~&y ~~z'~f!(Do~as fall Scads ad, gad P. (West Indian pines), Reincluded in in~nationalcooperabon programs for genetic management. ~ell~s~tablished species of widespread com~nerc~I use, souse po~puIa

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Executive Summary 113 lions of which have been widely sampled in parks, test stands, and breeding and production stands. However, many of these species are incompletely sampled for conservation purposes. All of them lack clear programs for using genotypes or populations as introductions or sub- stitutes for their current breeding populations. The number of tree species with clear potential for future use that could be managed in breeding or prebreeding operations is at least twice the number of species currently used, and their inclusion would quadruple the number of populations used. Programs are needed to ensure long-term storage (including cold storages of tree germplasm and to coordinate efforts to maintain managed stands. Of the available techniques for gene conservation, heavy reliance is placed on managing living stands, both ex situ and in situ. Programs for long-term storage as seed, pollen, or tissues are very limited. As long as interest remains, stand management should continue, but it is vulnerable to lapses in funding and control and to environmental changes. Global Data Base A global data base on the status of tree genetic resources should be established and continuously updated. It should include listings of ongoing conservation activities, breeding programs, test stands, and other activities pertinent to conserving trees. A data base would facilitate identifying species for conservation or for addition to testing and breeding programs. It would foster interaction among regional and national programs, support and encourage training at the international, regional, and local levels, support research and its application to managing forest tree germplasm, and provide a central source for assembling and disseminating data to national and regional programs. It would thus amplify the considerable efforts of the FAO's Panel of Experts on Forest Genetic Resources. Research and Development Genetic Variation To support conservation efforts, study of the patterns of genetic variation in tree populations should be accelerated and expanded in scope, especially in the tropics and subtropics. Genetic variation has been surveyed in a wide range of species, but the existing data base is largely derived from the study of conifers in

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141 Forest Trees the north temperate zone. Despite the very different reproductive mechanisms of many tropical species, a preliminary analysis reveals that levels of genetic divergence within populations are similar to those observed for temperate tree species. However, further study is needed before this information can be generally applied to conserving tropical tree species. Inventory Increased efforts are needed to provide an accurate inventory of forest trees. Even as new research is initiated, tree populations are being changed and eroded. The scale of change, both in the area affected and the speed of change, has vastly increased. The loss of species and genetic variation in populations due to deforestation may be slowed if critical populations are targeted and saved. Similarly, the effects of regional population or global climatic changes might be counteracted in the future by constructing new populations from conserved populations and collections. To do this, knowledge of what is in these forests is needed. Genetic Structures Research is needed to elucidate the distribution and structure of genetic variation especially for tropical trees-and to support conservation efforts. Information on reproductive systems, the genetic architecture of populations, and the requisite population sizes of trees is essential for the design of in situ and ex situ conservation stands. Understanding the subtle factors that create or destroy genetic diversity provides the scientific foundation for managing tree genetic variation. Differences in the mating systems of many tree species and the ecological instability of stand boundaries can strongly affect genetic variation among popu- lations. This must be considered when managing a sampled set of genotypes or conservation stands. However, the interactions of species and the structure of populations, especially in tropical species, are poorly understood. Obtaining such knowledge for tropical regions, where tree species occur in low densities as part of complex ecosystems, can be especially difficult. Climate Change and Pollution More comprehensive study should be made of the effects of global climatic change and pollution on forest tree species.

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Executive Summary 115 In the temperate regions pollution from industrial and transportation activities, combined with other stresses, is causing severe decline in forest vigor. Trees are dying prematurely in most industrialized countries and in some developing countries. Research efforts are in progress to understand the causal agents and biochemical pathways through which soil, water, and trees themselves are affected by pollution. In Germany alone more than 1,000 government-sponsored projects are examining the effects of pollution on forests. The Executive Board of the IUFRO has established the Special Task Force on Pollution to coordinate research and information on this problem, and reviews of the state of knowledge formed a major part of its Eighteenth World Congress in Montreal during 1990. Institutions i] The current status of tree genetic resource conservation activity is nadequate to prevent future losses in genetic diversity. Major inter- national efforts in the use of forest tree genetic resources originated in the late 1960s, with the guidance and support of the FAO and several national institutions, mostly from developed countries. Since then, institutional interest has been stimulated because tree improvement programs have demonstrated that economic benefits can be realized from using genetic resources to improve forest production and because increasing environmental awareness, including recognition of defores- tation and species loss, has led to increased recognition of the need to preserve gene resources. New Programs The capacity of national and regional institutions to manage tree genetic resources, especially in areas where loss of species and populations is most severe, should be enlarged and strengthened. Forest genetic resource conservation programs should be formalized and included in national plans for forestry, biological diversity, and breeding or other forms of genetic management. The in situ and ex situ conservation efforts of national governments require focus, coordination, and support. In the nonindustrialized world demand is growing for production forestry, especially for fuelwood and fodder in dry areas, but also for timber and other wood products. There is a need to establish breeding populations for nearly all species that are prime candidates for such uses. Preliminary breeding programs have been initiated with some previously wild species. However, several hundred species of potential value, especially in arid zones and the

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161 Forest Trees This tropical rain forest at 500 m near Serra dos Carajas is part of the world's largest closed rain forest, estimated to be 357 million ha in size, located in Brazil. Credit: Calvin R. Sperling. tropics, are not yet included in such programs and continue to be at high risk of loss. The precise, future global needs for forest genetic resources are not possible to predict, but the widest possible genetic base should be maintained to provide the best array of future options. The programs of national and regional institutions to conserve, describe, document, improve, and distribute forest genetic resources are critical activities, and they urgently need to become more active and more effective. Techniques for establishing priorities must be developed. The particular requirements and challenges of countries and regions may vary, but the overall goal is to conserve and maintain a broad range of forest tree genetic resources for current and future use and as a foundation for conserving the world's biological diversity. Funding and Personnel Sustained political support and expanded independent funding must be provided for long-term forest conservation operations, for professional and

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~ - /~ ^ ~' v~u~y ~ And ~ gear Sears glide, has ban flexed to / sf~ f=~,lf~, ~) Or so ~ i~sf~ff~f/~s fluff Acts far fag off ~ If ~) I For many nations the funds available to protects It souses mav be insu~cien.t Bar genetic o~bjecSves. ^~l~ou~h fiats is at the n.~ho~nal level that needs and p!d~odti~es must be elucidated and abed "~the-ground" activities must occu~r,esta~blishin.g end ~ste~ring~s~che:f~rts will Squid U)~ galore ~ Bad ~lpoLbo~andEnanck~suppo~.Nado~(pr ms #1 Benin nabs Or the Thor ^ ~ bee In, parEculatly Them species of current or Stud use am concede. F~quendy,such ^ Tuscan occur th~oughexLdngna~onaldepa~men~ or minisid~es es~bIished to ad~dressth~e needs ~f~nabo~na.lfo~ests, but their program ms must be extended to include ge!neLc resources The education and twining of pro~ssio~nals and technicians in feast genetic Assume conservation must also be expanded to provide sufid~nt technicaland sappy spa to meet urgent needs that ~iIlresu~lt item the increased antic ~ ~Regionalinstitutions could assist member countries in developing national and cooperative ac~vides elated to Crest ~eneLc ~sour) conservatio~n.lhey could provide funds ~rp~rogm ~son~fO~~st genetic

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181 Forest Trees resources, inventories, seed collection, nurseries, testing, ex situ stands, scientific exchange within and outside the region, training, and research. Regional programs would be uniquely suited to addressing the needs and facilitating activities for national programs that have common interests and priorities with regard to managing tree resources and the species of concern. Developing a Global Strategy Addressing the world's needs for tree genetic resources will require a global strategy that focuses on in situ and ex situ conservation, research, and institution building at national, regional, and international levels. International Leadership An international institution should be established or designated to provide leadership, coordination, and facilitation for the global management of the world's tree genetic resources at national, regional, and international levels. In situ and ex situ strategies should compose complementary elements of an integrated program. With limited resources to accomplish this task, coordination among the many national, regional, and international groups and institutions is needed to focus efforts on critical needs, to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, and to ensure optimal coverage. The comprehensive management of the tree resources of the world's forests requires leadership to coordinate existing efforts and foster new ones. Institutions, such as the FAO, OFI, Centro Agronomico Tropical de Inve stigacion y En senanza , Centre Technique F ore slier Tropical, and others discussed in this report, conduct important work at multiple national and international levels. There are, however, omissions both in priorities and methods of conservation. An international institution to coordinate and to facilitate the global conservation and management of forest genetic resources is required. The main function of such an institution would be to maintain an ongoing assessment of the status of forest genetic conservation worldwide and to foster the study, collection, documentation, evaluation, and utilization of tree genetic resources. Global leadership could be provided through a shared effort of the FAO and a forestry body created within the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). These efforts could be augmented by expertise from other international, regional, and national agencies. Such global cooperation would enable the initiation of efforts more rapidly

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Executive Summary / 19 than if an entirely new program were established. The FAO historically has played an important role in developing forest programs and disseminating information. The technical and scientific capacities of the IBPGR would enhance FAO's efforts. For both institutions such an arrangement will require some administrative adjustment and additional funding. Trees are an integral part of the natural world and they are essential to life. Trees have always been indispensable to the functioning of human society. It has become apparent in recent decades, however, that the world risks losing much of this invaluable resource. If society is to conserve the biological diversity encompassed in the world's trees and the forests and habitats they create, then renewed efforts are needed. The demand by a burgeoning population for the products and benefits of trees requires greater efforts to develop varieties adapted to human needs. Similarly, the remaining world forests, and the diversity they contain, must be protected from the increasing pressure to consume them. This is no longer the responsibility of a few nations, but will be achieved only through a global, cooperative effort.

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