Biodiversity

Publications

DRANIBA, which was organized by FAO and the Mexican government through its Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, was held on October 29-30, 2018, and attended by delegates from 11 Member Countries of the
region (Bahamas, Plurinational State of Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Paraguay, Peru and Suriname) and Spain, as well as representatives of United Nations agencies
(United Nations Development Programme – UNDP, and UN-Environment, also known as United
Nations Environment Programme - UNEP), academia, and international, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the Agroecological Movement of Latin America and the Caribbean
(MAELA), the Fund for the Development of Indigenous Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean
(FILAC), the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), and the German Agency for International
Cooperation (GIZ), among others.

FAO-CIRAD toolbox Central Africa (2017)

Forests cover nearly one-third of the world’s land area. They provide vital environmental services such as soil and water protection, regulate the climate and preserve biodiversity, produce valuable raw materials and food, and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people

Forest genetic resources refers to the heritable materials maintained within and among tree and other woody plant species that are of actual or potential economic, environmental, scientific or societal value (FAO, 2014b). As mentioned in the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), forests are home to the vast majority of the Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity (MEA, 2005), and trees are the keystone species of forest ecosystems. Forest trees differ from other plant species in their capacity to maintain high levels of genetic diversity within populations rather than among populations (Hamrick, 2004). This results from their outcrossed mating system, extensive gene flow and large population sizes (Petit and Hampe, 2006). Forest trees and other woody plant species provide wood, fibre, fuel and many non-wood forest products. They also contribute to a broad range of ecosystem services and fulfil environmental functions. According to Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), there are approximately 60 000 tree species (BGCI, 2017), but only very few have been studied in any depth for their present and future potential. Globally, around 2 400 species of trees, shrubs, palms and bamboo are actively managed for products and/or services, and approximately 700 tree species are subject to tree improvement programmes (FAO, 2014b).

Forest genetic resources (FGR) are the heritable materials maintained within and among tree and other woody plant species that are of actual or potential economic, environmental, scientific or societal value. They are crucial to the adaptation and protection of our ecosystems, landscapes and production systems, yet are subject to increasing pressures and unsustainable use.