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Criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management : assessment and monitoring of genetic variation

Namkoong G., Boyle T., El-Kassaby Y.A., Palmberg-Lerche C., Eriksson G., Gregorius H.R., Joly H., Kremer A., Savolainen O., Wickneswari R., Young A., Zeh Nlo M., Prabhu R.. 2002. Rome : FAO, 29 p.. (Working paper : Forest genetic resources).

The present paper contains proposals for genetic criteria and indicators which can form part of a more general set of, economic, environmental and social criteria and indicators for the monitoring of forest sustainability at the scale of forest management units. These proposals are intended for use in guiding tropical forest management, but because of the complexity of tropical forests, it is not possible to prescribe a uniform set of indicators for all circumstances. The pattern of genetic diversity that has already evolved is due to a balance of several evolutionary forces that operate at different spatial and temporal scales and forest practices would therefore be expected to affect several genetic factors. To provide guidance on what genetic processes may be affected by forest practices, we therefore first describe the genetic processes, then the forest practices that are expected to affect genetic processes, and we provide a matrix of relationships between types of forest practices and indicators of genetic processes. Since the intention of criteria and indicators is to steer and gradually improve forest management actions, the report identifies two main concerns of sustainability: first, whether a previous or a proposed practice poses substantial risk to genetic adaptability and second, what conservation or enhancement measures can be effective to mitigate any adverse impacts. We propose one criterion for conservation of forest genetic resources and four indicators related to processes that maintain genetic diversity. For each indicator, sets of verifiers are suggested which differ in the biologically relevant features they measure, in their precision, and in technical facilities they require. Finally, the need for rapid assessment and precision under difficult field conditions requires research and development of efficient direct and surrogate measures of the genetic resource. We therefore include recommendations for short- and medium term research that would improve the scientific value, costeffectiveness, ease of use, and further development of genetic criteria and indicators.

Mots-clés : aménagement forestier; variation génétique; ressource génétique végétale; gestion des ressources; surveillance

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