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EUFORGEN to negotiate hosting with the European Forest Institute

Published: 20/06/2017
Discussions with Bioversity International and EFI during the meeting. Photo: E.Hermanowicz/EUFORGEN

EUFORGEN will start negotiations with the European Forest Institute (EFI) to host its activities as of 2018. The decision was taken at the EUFORGEN’s Steering Committee’s 12th meeting held in Amsterdam in June.

A task group composed of the EUFORGEN Coordinator and four representatives of the Steering Committee was established following the decision to change legal host. The group will oversee the transition process, due to be completed by the end of the year.

EFI focuses in its own work on conservation and sustainable management of European forests. Therefore, it will have a strong interest in supporting long-term existence of EUFORGEN and a successful implementation of its strategies in Europe.

Furthermore, EUFORGEN will complement EFI in providing unbiased policy support on issues related to forests genetic resources.

According to a recent external evaluation of EUFORGEN, the programme has been very strong in connecting scientists in forest genetic resources across Europe, but has not been able to set up a strong dialogue with scientists in other forest-related disciplines and policy makers, which is one of the strengths of EFI. 

Since its foundation in 1994, EUFORGEN’s secretariat has been hosted at Bioversity International, a leading global organization in the field of plant genetic resources. Bioversity International created a favorable environment for EUFORGEN to grow and strengthen its linkages with other international organizations.  During this period EUFORGEN also reached important milestones such as the Pan-European Strategy for conservation of forest genetic resources.

While Bioversity International operates under the CGIAR umbrella and focuses on agricultural and forest biodiversity with special emphasis on the needs of developing countries, the new host, European Forest Institute (EFI) is mostly dedicated to European forests and is therefore strategically aligned with EUFORGEN's goals through common thematic and geographic focus.  Resilience is one of the three pillars of EFI’s strategy and genetic resources are a key component in resilient forests.