Nordic Crop Wild Relative Conservation

A Report from Two Collaborative Projects 2015–2019

image of Nordic Crop Wild Relative Conservation

The report summarizes results from a cooperation among all the Nordic countries during the period 2015 – 2019 (two projects). The work has focused on the conservation of Crop Wild Relatives (CWR), i.e. wild plant species closely related to crops. They are of special importance to humanity since traits of potential value for food security and climate change adaptation can be transferred from CWR into crops. The projects represent the first joint action on the Nordic level regarding in situ conservation of CWR. Substantial progress has been made regarding CWR conservation planning, including development of a Nordic CWR checklist and identification of suitable sites for CWR conservation. A set of recommended future actions was developed, with the most important one being initiation of active in situ conservation of CWR in all Nordic countries.



Policy and legislation

The two recent joint Nordic projects ‒ Ecosystem services: genetic resources and crop wild relatives and Wild genetic resources: a tool to meet climate change ‒ were the first ever where the five Nordic countries collaborated actively to get aspects of in situ conservation in place. Whereas it has been much easier to join forces on proper ex situ conservation and management of seeds, in situ conservation means entering an area that poses new challenges, some of which cannot be solved by the gene bank community alone. In situ conservation implies collaboration with a range of stakeholders, of which the nature conservation community plays a key role. But it has, for reasons yet to be understood, been surprisingly difficult to bring the two communities together, despite conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity being central to both.


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