Thank you for your interest in forest stewardship.
This initiative is crucial because forest biotechnology will affect the future of our forests. In fact, it already is. Today there are over one million biotech poplar trees that were established on commercial plantations in China in 2003. There are also commercial biotech papaya trees in the United States (Hawaii). If you want to learn the basics of biotech trees, our Forest Biotechnology Primer is the place to start.
We need healthy forests. We rely on the ecosystem services Healthy forest ecosystems are ecological life-support systems. Forests provide a full suite of goods and services that are vital to human health and livelihood, natural assets we call ecosystem services. Many of these goods and services are traditionally viewed as free benefits to society, or "public goods" - wildlife habitat and diversity, watershed services, carbon storage, and scenic landscapes, for example. forests provide. We need sustainably managed trees that are a source of paper, packaging, housing, food, and renewable energy. Given the growing world population, we will require more productive, healthy, and sustainably managed forests to fill all these needs. Today we have an onslaught of invasive threats damaging our forests, deforestation, and illegal logging. Forest biotechnology can be a powerful tool against many of these threats. Scientists have already designed biotech trees Biotech trees are trees that are developed through genetic engineering (also called genetic modification) and subsequent trees using asexual propagation (commonly known as cloning). that are resistant to disease, changing climates, and produce more wood fiber with less inputs on less land than conventional trees.
The Responsible Use: Biotech Tree Principles will guide long-term stewardship of biotech trees. People have highly disparate opinions about these trees. We will probably never see a day when everyone agrees on whether to use biotech trees, but that should not deter us from making stewardship principles to help people make smart decisions about how to use the biotech trees that are becoming available today.
A broad set of stakeholders have set aside the question of whether biotech trees should be used to create stewardship principles (1) Biotech trees will benefit people, the environment, or both (2) Risks and benefit of biotech trees will be assessed (3) Transparency is important - stakeholders will be engaged (4) Social equity and indigenous rights are important and will be respected (5) Biotech tree use must follow regulations of the appropriate country because they are used today – and will be used even more in the future. If you have constructive ideas for this initiative, please submit them through our online comment form, or contact us directly
We would like to thank our Forest Biotechnology Partners and our Initiative Sponsors for providing the technical and financial resources to make this initiative possible. Together, we have created the most comprehensive information source on forest biotechnology – anywhere.