New report on state of the world's forest genetic resources

Jun 3, 2014

FAO's Commission on Genetic Resources has published the first report on the conservation,
management and sustainable use of forest tree and other woody plant genetic resources worldwide.

A total of 86 countries submitted reports, accounting for 76 percent of the world’s land area and 85 percent of the global forest area, with good latitudinal and ecoregional representation.

The report covers 8,000 species of trees, shrubs, palms and bamboo that are among the most utilized by humans. However, overall the  number of existing tree species in the world is estimated at between 80,000 and 100,000, it notes.

Of that total, around 2,400 (around 3 percent) are actively managed for the products and services they provide.

Just around 700 species are actively improved through selection or breeding, meaning that less than one percent of all existing tree species are being assessed for improved production and adaptability in different planting site conditions or under selection or breeding programmes.

The Trees4Future project is mentioned in the report in Chapter 7, Trait-based knowledge of tree genetic resources, in a discussion on the emergence of provenance testing.

Download the The State of the World's Forest Genetic Resources report (pdf)

Press release: Action needed to safeguard genetic diversity of the world's forests