European genetic resources conservation in a rapidly changing world: three existential challenges for the crop, forest and animal domains in the 21st century

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François Lefèvre
Danijela Bojkovski
Magda Bou Dagher Kharrat
Michele Bozzano
Eléonore Charvolin-Lemaire
Sipke Joost Hiemstra
Hojka Kraigher
Denis Laloë
Gwendal Restoux
Suzanne Sharrock
Enrico Sturaro
Theo van Hintum
Marjana Westergren
Nigel Maxted


Even though genetic resources represent a fundamental reservoir of options to achieve sustainable development goals in a changing world, they are overlooked in the policy agenda and severely threatened. The conservation of genetic resources relies on complementary in situ and ex situ approaches appropriately designed for each type of organism. Environmental and socioeconomic changes raise new challenges and opportunities for sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources.

Aiming at a more integrated and adaptive approach, European scientists and genetic resources managers with long experience in the agricultural crop, animal and forestry domains joined their expertise to address three critical challenges: (1) how to adapt genetic resources conservation strategies to climate change, (2) how to promote in situ conservation strategies and (3) how can genetic resources conservation contribute to and benefit from agroecological systems. We present here 31 evidence-based statements and 88 key recommendations elaborated around these questions for policymakers, conservation actors and the scientific community.

We anticipate that stakeholders in other genetic resources domains and biodiversity conservation actors across the globe will have interest in these crosscutting and multi-actor recommendations, which support several biodiversity conservation policies and practices.



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How to Cite
Lefèvre, F., Bojkovski, D., Bou Dagher Kharrat, M., Bozzano, M., Charvolin-Lemaire, E., Hiemstra, S. J., Kraigher, H., Laloë, D., Restoux, G., Sharrock, S., Sturaro, E., van Hintum, T., Westergren, M. and Maxted, N. (2024) “European genetic resources conservation in a rapidly changing world: three existential challenges for the crop, forest and animal domains in the 21st century”, Genetic Resources, 5(9), pp. 13–28. doi: 10.46265/genresj.REJR6896.
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