Silva Mediterranea - Forest Genetic Resources Working Group (WG4)
Coordinator: Mr Fulvio DUCCI (Italy)
Work Plan 2009 - 2012 for the Forest Genetic Resources (WG4)
Mediterranean Forest Genetic Resources Databases
In the early 1970s many initiatives were launched by the various countries of the Mediterranean basin regarding the exchange of forest seed and the establishment of plantations to compare species, provenances and progeny. Such initiatives sought to identify the sources of the seed most suited to local environmental conditions. No information is available on the present status of many of these trials, and international literature mentions only a few publications. It is feared that unless special attention is paid to this issue, the trials and their results, whether actual or potential, will be lost for good - despite the fact that the choice of appropriate species and provenances affects the success of reforestation and forest and environmental regeneration.
In April 2002 the Committee on Mediterranean Forestry Questions Silva Mediterranea decided to maximize the most important results of the initiatives carried out, starting with those concerning Mediterranean conifers. A large number of the trials on these species (pines, cedars, firs and cypresses) were established under a joint initiative of Silva Mediterranea and the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO).
France (the General Directorate of Forestry and Rural Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Rural Affairs) decided to support these initiatives, entrusting scientific coordination within the country to the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA). Other countries agreed to take part in the project by collecting data at a national level and supporting research efforts linked with the validation and publication of data, as well as the coordination of scientific summaries.
FAO also undertook to support the work, with the endorsement of Silva Mediterranea member countries, with a view to preparing and publishing a scientific and technical summary that would take stock of comparative trials of conifer species and provenances in the Mediterranean basin.
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