Activities concerned with conservation, selection, collection, handling, distribution, propagation or improvement of forest reproductive material depends not only on the adoption of appropriate technical matters, but also on the people involved. There are two main aspects: (i) the management of people within a project, and the participation of people outside it.
Management - the success of natural resource projects is primarily determined by the people who manage them. Projects concerned with forest genetic resources will require a wide range of skills to make up any team. The variety of skills and expertise can be seen from the following examples: practical ability to climb trees; knowledge of research techniques; detailed knowledge of genetic breeding; marketing skills for selling seed; training and extension skills. These activities require the management of many different types of people, and each person of the team will need to practice management skills if the project or programme is to be a success.
Participatory approaches - activities in forestry are increasingly being carried out so as to facilitate a much greater involvement of all people who have an interest, especially local communities. There are many opportunities for local people to help in and benefit directly from activities such as exploration, collection, propagation, testing and planting of forest reproductive material. More and more documents are being produced that provide guidelines on how to take a more participatory approach to these activities. This becomes a more natural approach as the value of indigenous knowledge and experience is recognised, and projects are designed to provide more immediate benefits to communities living in the neighbourhood of forests.