In 1990 the first Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe adopted Strasbourg Resolution 2 on Conservation of Forest Genetic Resources.
The resolution called for the establishment of a voluntary instrument for cooperation on conservation of genetic diversity of European forests. EUFORGEN, established in 1994, is that instrument.
Twenty years later, a short film celebrated EUFORGEN’s achievements and explained the need for regional collaboration on the conservation of forest genetic resources.
During the celebrations, Jarkko Koskela, at the time EUFORGEN coordinator, said:
“The recent achievements of EUFORGEN, notably the EUFGIS Portal and the pan-European genetic conservation strategy for forest trees, have raised interest beyond Europe as they demonstrate how systematic and science-based approaches can be applied in a continental scale to document and guide dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources in different countries.”
EUFORGEN’s distribution maps for forest trees have also become a landmark product used in Europe and around the world. These maps are just one example of the products possible with effective collaboration, says Michele Bozzano, current EUFORGEN coordinator.
“The compilation of these distribution maps would not have been possible without devoted inputs from our partners across Europe.”
Bozzano says that Phase V of EUFORGEN, which runs from 2015 to 2019, will continue to provide the science-based evidence that is even more necessary to ensure the sustainable conservation and use of forest genetic resources as the effects of climate change begin to be felt in Europe.
“EUFORGEN is a vehicle to identify obstacles to progress on the conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources in Europe and a platform to link researchers and policy makers.”
Since its inception, the Secretariat of EUFORGEN has been housed at Bioversity International in Rome, Italy.