National coordinator

Brian Clifford
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)
Agriculture House 3 West, Kildare Street
Dublin 2 , Ireland

Quick Info

Letter of Agreement signed on 28 Nov 2014

Member since 2000


  • Brian Clifford, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)
  • Gerry Douglas, Teagasc Kinsealy Research Centre
  • Colin Kelleher, National Botanic Gardens
  • Stuart Kennedy , Coillte Tree Improvement Centre
  • Conor O’Reilly, School of Agriculture & Food Science
  • in situ genetic conservation unit
    ex situ genetic conservation unit
    Map Elements

    Focal point

    Brian Clifford
    Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM)

    The European Information System on Forest Genetic Resources (EUFGIS) provides geo-referenced and harmonized data on genetic conservation units of forest trees in Europe.

    Management of forest genetic resources in Ireland

    Since the earliest times in the development of the Irish forestry programme the importance of genetic resources has been fully recognized. However, the conservation of forest genetic resources actually commenced when Ireland became a member of EUFORGEN towards the end of the 1990’s.

    Further developments took place in September 2000, when under the adages of COFORD, an informal group was convened to develop a discussion paper towards a strategy for gene conservation and tree improvement of Ireland’s most important indigenous broadleaf and coniferous species. From this and subsequent meetings, the first strategy for the management of Ireland’s forest genetic resources was developed.

    More recently, in 2005 a Working Group was established by COFORD to progress the development of a strategy for the management of Ireland’s forest genetic resources.  This group published an outline strategy – 'Sustaining and Developing Ireland’s Forest Genetic Resource' (COFORD 2007  PDF (1.5 MB)).

    In October 2010 a call for proposals was published under the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food strategy for the development of forest genetic resources which included a call for developing a national gene conservation strategy for native and non-native forest trees of national importance. This call will focus on:

    • A critical review of the genetic resources of forest tree species already existing in the country from a gene conservation perspective;
    • Prioritizing tree species for conservation, identifying the rationale for their conservation, identifying appropriate methods of conservation – in situ, ex situ etc.;
    • Identifying any infrastructure gaps;
    • Making practical recommendations of how the strategy could be implemented within the existing national forest genetic resources infrastructure framework.

    This programme became operational in 2011.

    Further information

    Council for Forest Research and Development (COFORD)

    Country report for the FAO First State of the World’s Forest Genetic Resources


    External publications

    Sustaining and Developing Ireland’s Forest Genetic Resources - An outline strategy
    Genetic analysis reveals four Irish oak genotypes

    EUFORGEN publications