Conservation of forest genetic resources
Sufficient genetic diversity ensures the success of our forest tree species in a highly variable environment. Safeguarding genetic diversity and resources is an important part of biodiversity conservation and a goal to which Finland has committed through international conventions. Genetic diversity refers to the variability between specimens within a species.
Genetically diverse forests can withstand changes in the environment
Forest genetic resources are maintained in a network of gene reserve forests established for that purpose. This network is supplemented by collections of living trees and by traditional nature conservation areas.
Finland’s National Genetic Resources Programme for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries guides activities concerning the conservation, protection and sustainable use of genetic resources in Finland. The Advisory Body for Genetic Resources, established by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, oversees the implementation of the programme, acts as a link between different ministries in matters related to genetic resources, participates in legislative drafting on the topic and processes Nordic and international genetic resource initiatives. The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is the body responsible for the conservation of forest genetic resources.
The safeguarding of forest genetic diversity is also taken into account in the statutory provisions on the trade of forest cultivation materials and in the objectives of forest tree breeding activities.