Chairs: Richard Whittet (Forest Research, UK), Simone Bianchi (LUKE, Finland)
Keynote: Michele Bozzano (EUFORGEN, EFI; Barcelona, Spain)
Investment in forest genetic resources (FGR) tends to pay off very substantially in genetic gains delivered through breeding and better outcomes in ecological restoration. However the rate of return on investment in research and development is relatively long and priorities shift due to environmental and political change. Due to the generally necessary use of technical language, it often falls to scientists to communicate benefits and risks of developing FGR although for most purposes, no more than an intuitive understanding of genetics is truly required and many foresters are expert stewards of FGR without realising it. What role do and should scientists, end-users and policy-makers play in governance and coordination of FGR and over which timescales and within which geographical or administrative boundaries? For example, how do scientists retain and manage a blend of long- and short-term research infrastructure? How do end-users feed into policy and research agendas and where is the line between public good and private gain? How do policy makers handle uncertainty and how do their attitudes risk influence progress? The aim of this session is to demonstrate examples of regional or national/subnational systems of governance and coordination of FGR with a special focus on the role scientists play in them. Positive and negative examples are equally welcome in this session. Our intention is to learn from each other what works and why.