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Lennart Ackzell57


When a seedling is planted or a seed is sown in a regeneration effort in European forests, different factors influence the choice of forest reproductive material (FRM) used.

In Europe, two trade schemes or regulations directly or indirectly affect us. For Member States of the European Union (EU) there is a directive on Marketing of Forest Reproductive Material, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a trade scheme on Forest Reproductive Material58 open to countries that wish to participate. These two trade schemes were revised in the 1990s and European countries are presently changing their national policies accordingly.

The important over-ruling policy within the EU is the principle of free movement of goods. This means that forest seeds or plants that are legally on the market in one Member State are legal in all EU Member States. That policy, more than requests from the forestry sector, is the reason behind the need for the EU legislation. There is, simply, a need to understand the information accompanying seeds and plants circulating in trade.


Since 1966, the EU or European Economic Community (as it was known at the time) has issued a directive on the marketing of forest seed and plants (66/404/EEC). There have been some minor revisions, but the directive-as created by the six original member countries-has remained basically the same.

The OECD also has a trade scheme for forest reproductive material, dealing mostly with trade between Europe and North America. The scheme was re-negotiated and EU members accepted the new proposal in the mid 1990s. However it has not been finally approved as there is a US opposition to the GMO-labelling requirements. The OECD Scheme, in contrast to the EU directive, is optional and countries participate and use the scheme on a voluntary basis.

To make the process more efficient and understandable for those involved (primarily forest administrations and nursery owners/managers), following the OECD revision the EU undertook to renew its old directive so that there would be only one set of definitions and rules for marketing of forest reproductive material. The result was a new directive (1999/105/EC)59 that was presented about two weeks before the end of 1999. The directive should be implemented in national legislation and in force no later than 31 December 2002. Besides the current EU-members, the 12 candidate countries also implement this legislation. Hence, 27 European countries are directly influenced.

The new Directive reflects both the modern state of plant breeding and the increased public awareness of nature conservation. The Directive also has standards that reflect the current membership of 15 member states as compared with the original six. As such, among other changes, the number of species concerned has increased dramatically.

The Directive regulates marketing, and perhaps even more specifically, labeling, and not the forest practices on individual forests. However, for plants that are sold or traded on the market, a market directive understandably also strongly influences seed collection, seed or plant production, and their use in the forest.


For a broader audience, the kit of definitions might be very useful to avoid misunderstandings. The definitions are to a very large degree compatible between the OECD trade scheme and the EU-directive. The matrix of Basic material (=where the seeds or parts of plants come from; forest area, specific stand, seed orchard, clone, etc.) and Categories (=the degree of selection; no selection, stand level, individual selection and results of tests of the selection) is useful for countries not directly affected by these schemes.


The matter of gene conservation has been observed in the updated versions of the schemes. Hence, there are articles in the EU Directive (4.4 and 6.5) that allow exemptions for gene conservation activities (see web link in footnote 3).



A recent publication from IPGRI, include among other items an appendix on computer programmes for design and analysis of germplasm evaluation trials for the following software products: 1) Microsoft Excel; 2) MSTAT; 3) Agrobase; 4) Genstat; 5) S-PLUS; 6) SAS; 7) CycDesigN and; 8) ASREML. It includes some observation about each program and gives some recommendations which also will apply to evaluation of trials in forestry.

Selecting the appropriate software, from IPGRI Technical Bulletin 2001, No. 4, Appendix 1 p. 49-51:

"The main conclusion from a brief survey of the software is that there is no ideal package for the design and analysis of germplasm evaluation trials. However, organizations may have a strategy that include a range of packages. One scenario would be to use Excel for data entry and possible for some graphics. Then some combination of Genstat, Agrobase and SAS could be used for the randomization of the trials and for the analysis.

One recent development is the ease and similarity of use of different statistics packages. This has two important consequences. The first is that little time is need be devoted to instruction in any particular package. The second is that more than one package can be used in a complementary way. It is therefore no longer essential that the same package be used on a training course that is needed subsequently. The web site http://www.statistics. Com/vendors/index.html has information on, and links to, many statistical analysis software packages, including some of the ones discussed in this publication."

The complete publication can be found on the IPGRI webpage at:

There is no commercial computer programme targeting exclusively forestry, but the second edition of "Experimental Design and Analysis for the use in Tree improvement" by E.R. Williams, A.C. Matheson and C.E. Harwood, April 2002, CSIRO Publishing, Australia, relates to the latest available software packages.

1 IPGRI. 2001. The design and analysis of evaluation trials of genetic resources collections. A guide for genebank managers. IPGRI Technical Bulletin No. 4. IPGRI, Rome


Guidelines and Technical Notes



People's Participation and the Role Of Governments in Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources. Lotte Isager, Ida Theilade and Lex Thomsen. 2002

Case Studies



Tree Planting Zones of Nepal. 2001. Lillesø, J.P.B., L.P. Dhakal, T.B. Shrestha, R.P. Nayaju, R. Shrestha and E.D. Kjaer.



Conservation Plan for Genetic Resources of Zambezi Teak (Baikiaea plurijuga) in Zambia. 2001. Theilade, I., P.M. Sekeli, S. Hald and L. Graudal.



Addressing smallholders' demand for propagation material of woody species. 2001. Lillesøe, J.P.B., L.P. Dhakal, P.K. Jha, H.L. Aryal and E.D. Kjaer.

Results & Documentation



DFSC and FAO 2001. Practical experience with establishment and management of ex situ conservation stands of tropical pines. DFSC Results and Documentation No.1. RD1. Compilation and editing: Christian P. Hansen, Ida Thailade, Søren Hald, Danida Forest seed Centre, Humlebaek, Denmark and Forest Resources Development Service, FAO, Rome, 61 pp.



Seed Leaflets 51-65: Gliricidia sepium, Ilicium verum, Dipterocarpus alatus, Buddleja coriaceae, Tipuana tipu, Prosopis alba, Schinus molle, Gonystylus bancanus, Agathis loranthifolia, Pinus merkusii, Tectona grandis, Gmelina arborea, Milicia excelsa, Shorea leprosula, Dalbergia sissoo. 2-page leaflets with information about tropical and sub-tropical species. All leaflets are available on the web site, see address below.

About Danida Forest Seed Centre


Trees for Development

All publications from 2000 and later are available on the DFSC web site at:

or can be requested from:
Danida Forest Seed Centre
Krogerupvej 21
DK-2050 Humlebaek
Fax: +45 49 16 02 58, Email:


56 Received September 2002. Original language: English
57 National Board of Forestry, Sweden
58 See OECD scheme on the OECD web site at:
59 Can be accessed as a PDF document at:

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