Forest conservation and therefore the conservation of forest genetic resources is one of the principle tasks of the Federal States in Germany.
From § 1 Federal Forest Act and the corresponding provisions of the Federal States Forest Acts the legal objective is to conserve the forest in its genetic diversity in order to fulfil its services and functions permanently. In addition, the following provisions of the Federal Forest Act may be applied with regard to the conservation of forest genetic resources: Forest conservation (§ 9), forest management (§ 11), protection forest (§ 12).
Corresponding regulations also exist at the Federal State level.
In several Federal states, activities on the conservation of forest genetic resources are now regulated by decree and integrated into programmes such as forestry framework planning. In addition, the forestry guidelines of most Federal states contain important measures for the conservation of forest genetic resources.
The Forest Reproductive Material Act (FoVG), which regulates the approval, production, marketing, import and export and the identification and tracing of forest reproductive material, plays a special role. The purpose of the Act is to conserve and improve the positive effects of forests by providing high-quality and identity-assured forest reproductive material in its genetic diversity and to promote the productive capacity of forestry (§ 1 FoVG).
Furthermore, the Federal Nature Conservation Act has a certain significance. Information on the conservation of biological diversity and thus also genetic diversity is provided by the objectives of the Federal Nature Conservation Act. The fauna and flora, the efficiency of the natural balance and the usability of natural resources shall be safeguarded as the basis of human life. The measures provided for in the Federal Nature Conservation Act and the corresponding Federal state nature conservation laws only partially cover the genetic diversity necessary for the conservation of tree and shrub species. However, in certain cases, they may complement the measures to conserve forest genetic resources.
National Programme for Forest Genetic Resources
The “Concept for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources in the Federal Republic of Germany” was developed by the Federal government / Länder Working Group on "Forest Genetic Resources and Legislation on Forest Reproductive Material" (BLAG-FGR) and first published in 1987. It describes the state of endangerment of forest genetic resources and provides an overview of measures to conserve the genetic diversity of tree and shrub species in Germany. The corresponding measures are defined and implemented by the BLAG-FGR in coordinated cooperation.