Forest genetic resources

Global Plan of Action

The FAO Conference adopted the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Development of Forest Genetic Resources (Global Plan of Action) in June 2013 as a follow-up to the findings of The State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources. The Global Plan of Action was agreed on by the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (the Commission) in April 2013, based on the recommendations made by its Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Forest Genetic Resources (the Working Group).

The Global Plan of Action identifies a total of 27 strategic priorities for action at national, regional and international levels for improving the management of forest genetic resources. The strategic priorities are grouped into four priority areas:

  1. Improving the availability of, and access to, information on forest genetic resources;
  2. Conservation of forest genetic resources (in situ and ex situ);
  3. Sustainable use, development and management of forest genetic resources; and
  4. Policies, institutions and capacity-building.

The Global Plan of Action is voluntary and non-binding and should not be interpreted or implemented in contradiction with existing national legislation and international agreements where applicable. The relative priority of each strategic priority and associated actions may differ significantly in different countries and regions. Relative priority may depend on the genetic resources themselves, the natural environment or production systems involved, current management capacities, financial resources or policies already underway for the management of FGR.

In 2017, the Commission adopted targets, indicators and verifiers for forest genetic resources to be used for monitoring the implementation of the Global Plan of Action. Summaries of FAO activities supporting the implementation of the Global Plan of Action are presented to each session of the Commission and the Working Group. In February 2019, the Commission also adopted a funding strategy for the implementation of the Global Plan of Action and endorsed Voluntary Guidelines for Preparing a National Strategy for Forest Genetic Resources.