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1. INTRODUCTION

This guide provides an overview of the management of forest reproductive material, highlighting key issues and links to relevant additional information with the overall aim of promoting quality, quantity and successful establishment within the sector. It aims to help users define their needs, plan their seed requirements, identify potential tree sources, and also provides examples of material transfer agreements. You can think of the publication as a workshop in which we have provided a tool-rack, showing you the information tools you can use - the jobs they do, the techniques used and where you can find them.

1.1 What is forest reproductive material?

Forest reproductive material (or germplasm) is any sexual and asexual material, such as seeds, pollen and cuttings, from which new trees and forests can be reproduced. Such material plays a vital role in forestry, as it is the means by which previous generations of trees and forests produce future generations through artificial or natural regeneration. It is also the means by which the quality and quantity of new trees and forests can be maintained or improved. The sequence is as follows:

Previous generations of trees and forests
Parent trees producing seeds, shoots, etc. harvested or naturally disseminated
Forest reproductive material (seeds, vegetative
material etc.)
Seedlings, cuttings etc. artificially propagated or naturally regenerated
Next generations of trees and forests


Forest reproductive material is thus an essential key to sustainable forest management and the conservation of forest genetic resources.

This guide has been designed to help you get an overview of forest reproductive material and find out information you may require quickly and easily.

1.2 IDENTIFYING YOUR NEEDS

You may be interested in forest reproductive material for many different reasons. This guide can serve the needs of many types of stakeholder. Please check down the list of possible roles below to see which most closely fit your responsibilities. We suggest that you look at all the pages in the guide to get a complete overview, but we provide here immediate links to sections or topics that are most likely to be of special relevance, depending on your level of interest. If you are involved in a project, you may find the CHECKLIST SUMMARY on the next page useful - it will help you ensure that you don't forget any points. If you are fully conversant with technical and other matters, but just need links to further information, then you can go straight to the section FINDING OUT MORE

SO...... WHAT SORT OF STAKEHOLDER ARE YOU?

ARE YOU.....

....THEN THESE SECTIONS OR TOPICS may be of particular help:

Formulating programmes, policies or legislation that relate to forest reproductive material?

POLICY, SOCIAL & OTHER MATTERS

Preparing or monitoring projects concerned with seed or other material/ programs?

CHECKLIST SUMMARY

Training, educating or creating public awareness about seed etc?

TRAINING AND EDUCATION

Studying, researching or developing to improve quality and quantity of reproductive material?

SELECTION

IMPROVEMENT

VALUING BENEFITS

FINDING OUT MORE

Selling and exporting material as a commercial venture?

BUYING AND SELLING MATERIAL

REGULATING AND APPLYING STANDARDS

Analysing and storing material in a seed centre?

HANDLING AND ANALYSING MATERIAL

Arranging collection or procuring seed etc. for users?

ORGANISING AND COLLECTING SUPPLIES

SEED SUPPLIER DIRECTORIES

Propagating material in nurseries etc?

PROPAGATING IN NURSERIES

Promoting nursery extension and developing participatory approaches?

MANAGEMENT & PARTICIPATORY APPROACHES

This guide does not provide new information. It just helps to structure and summarise key topics and issues, and provides you with links to further information or tools that you might need.

The guide will also be available in printed format, as a self-contained publication. For this reason, the links have been provided on the full internet address, so that these can be entered in manually on another computer, if required. The guide will be periodically updated. If you think it can be improved, or there are omissions or errors, please contact us at:

Forest-Genetic-Resources@fao.org

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