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The genetic diversity of tree species is fundamental for livelihoods, maintaining ecosystem functions, supporting biodiversity and the resilience of forests and landscapes to environmental change. Failure to safeguard our dwindling forest genetic resources undermines sustainable management of forest landscapes, preventing the best species, from genetically diverse seed sources, from delivering effective restoration and food security. 


Bioversity International, in partnership with stakeholders, identifies the genetic diversity of priority tree species and predicts where species are most likely to be threatened across their distribution range. We provide an evidence base and decision support tools for practitioners and policy makers to set conservation priorities and support sustainable management and use of forest resources.

COVID-19 highlights the need for food systems-based policies for reducing tropical deforestation

Deforestation has many drivers but one is often overlooked: food consumption in cities that increases demand for products produced on deforested land....

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Capacity strengthening tools and initiatives

Understanding the nature and severity of threats to tree species is essential for effective planning and priority setting for in situ and ex situ conservation. Bioversity International, in collaboration with our partners, has developed a mapping approach that integrates existing datasets, species distribution models, climate models and expert survey results to predict the severity of threats to priority species across their distribution range.

Methodology and application

Spatially explicit multi-threat assessment of food tree species in Burkina Faso: A fine-scale approach.
Publication I Blog

Analyse spatiale des menaces aux espèces d’arbres alimentaires locales prioritaires au Burkina Faso.

Fruit tree genetic diversity in Central Asia: increasing value, managing threats.
Factsheet I Poster

Fruit tree genetic diversity in Central Asia: a spatial threat analysis.

Climate Change Atlas
In partnership with the World Agroforestry Centre and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Centre, Bioversity International has developed a Climate Change Atlas for Central America, which applies a threat-mapping methodology to simulate habitat suitability maps for 54 tree species that are widely used for shade in coffee or cocoa agroforestry.

Forest Genetic Resources Training Guide

Available in English and Spanish, the Forest Genetic Resources Training Guide  is a tool for teaching and learning about forest genetic resources issues in formal education or on-the-job training. Through its modules, you will learn about the links between sustainable forest management and forest genetic resources, covering areas such as conservation strategies, trees outside forests, seed supply chains, and forest management, forest restoration and logging.

Highlight: Mapping the threats to 16 food tree species

The continued survival of many tree species, a vital source of income and nutrition in rural households, is under threat. Overharvesting, development, mining and climate change are just some of the pressures they face. A question asked by many conservation practitioners is how to effectively target the species that are both the most vulnerable and the most valuable to local communities?

A study in Burkina Faso of 16 important food tree species and the threats they face provides some answers.

Find out more

Tracking illegal logging

Unsustainable and illegal logging is a driving force of deforestation worldwide. This challenge is being addressed through a Bioversity International project with partners, supported by the German government and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, which is developing a system to facilitate the practical application of timber tracking tools using genetic and stable isotope fingerprints for a number of priority timber species.

Find out more about the Global Timber Tracking Network– a global platform to bring together the science, scientists, policymakers and other key players to address the illegal timber trade in a holistic way.


Bioversity International's research on forest genetic resources is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry and is supported by CGIAR Trust Fund Donors. We lead a cluster on safeguarding forest genetic diversity.

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