Process and main steps toward the preparation of the SOW-FGR


  • During its 11th Session the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) acknowledged the urgency to conserve and sustainably utilize forest genetic resources. The Commission requested that The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources (SoW-FGR) report be prepared and presented in 2013, as part of its Multi-Year Programme of Work (June).


  • FAO Regional Forestry Commissions were informed on the preparation of the SoW-FGR (February – October).
  • CBD-COP9 welcomed the plan of FAO to develop the SoW-FGR (May). 
  • Regional consultations to discuss about the process of preparation of the SoW-FGR, and define its scope and content, were held in collaboration with international research institutions and regional networks in Costa Rica (September) and in Malaysia (October). 
  • During the 15th Session of the FAO Panel of Experts on FGR an outline of contents and tentative list of background thematic studies was proposed, integrating inputs from the regional consultations (December).


  • FAO continues to build awareness about the SoW-FGR with its main international and regional technical partners on FGR and gathers inputs from these partners through a sub-regional consultation for Eastern and Southern Africa held in Nairobi, Kenya (January), and another one for Central and Western Africa conducted in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (February).
  • During its 19th Session the Committee on Forestry (COFO) discussed and supported the preparation of the SoW-FGR, urging member countries to collaborate with FAO and partner organizations in producing the Report (March). 
  • A proposal for the structure of the content of the SoW-FGR was developed, including an indicative list of thematic studies, during the 12th Session of the CGRFA, with inputs from the regional consultations as well as from the Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources of the North American Forestry Commission (NAFC), and the European Forest Genetic Resources Programme (EUFORGEN) (October).


  • FAO requested member countries to designate National Focal Points, through an official invitation, to serve as the main contact point during the SoW-FGR preparatory process and coordinate the preparation of Country Reports on forest genetic resources (April).
  • Guidelines for the preparation of Country Reports were discussed and finalized with inputs from two regional workshops in Latin America, Quito, Ecuador (March) and Central Africa, Brazzaville, Congo (March) and made available to countries (June). 
  • Countries have initiated the preparation of Country Reports (submission deadline preferably by 1st January 2012).


  • FAO complemented the initial national efforts in the elaboration and completion of Country Reports with the organization of regional training workshops for National Focal Points, in collaboration with international research institutions and regional networks in:

1.  Latin America, Cali, Colombia in collaboration with Bioversity International, Regional Office for the Americas, and Latin American Forest Genetic Resources Network (LAFORGEN) (November 2010),
2.  Pacific Region, Nadi, Fiji, in collaboration with the Secretariat for the Pacific Communities (SPC), (January),
3.  Asian Region, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI) and the Asia-Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN) (March),
4.  African Region, Nairobi, Kenya in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Sub-Saharan Africa Forest Genetic Resources (SAFORGEN) Programme (April),
5.  North Africa and Near East Region, Hammamet, Tunisia, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Office for the Mediterranean Region (June).

Each workshop is an opportunity for FAO and its partners to provide technical assistance in the review of the initial drafts of Country Reports, assess progress made, discuss issues and limitations of their elaboration, and provide recommendations for finalization. Subject to the availability of extra-budgetary resources, the follow-up to the workshop will entail the planning and implementation of country-based activities to collect and analyze information on FGR with the aim of finalizing the reports.

  • Preparation of a number of thematic studies to address specific issues related to the conservation and management of FGR, each is independently developed by a coordinator and volunteer authors.
  • The Intergovernamental Technical Working Group on FGR has its first meeting and review progress in preparation of the SOW-FGR (April).
  • Inputs from representatives of specialized International Organizations that participate to the ITWG-FGR as observers (April).
  • The FAO Global Information System on Forest Genetic Resources is strengthened and further developed.
  • CGRFA-13: Review progress in preparation of the SOW-FGR.


  • FAO compiles and analyses Country Reports and Reports from International Organizations to prepare a first Draft of the SOW-FGR Report.
  • COFO-21: Review progress in preparation of the SOW-FGR.


  • Presentation of the SOW-FGR Report, June 2014.

last updated:  Friday, May 23, 2014