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Conservation of forest ecosystems has gained a significant part of conventions, treaties and action plans for biodiversity conservation. One major reason is the fact that forests are in many parts of the world the most “wild”, impressive and complex terrestrial ecosystems. Another reason could be the knowledge that forests are decreasing worldwide. Yet, the most important reason is probably the fact that forest science is the most developed applied on the ground nature management scientific discipline.
Following the arguments presented in the previous chapter, the conservation of forest genetic diversity cannot be seen separately from the general use and management of forest resources. Each country and each region can have different approaches on the subject. The same happens with different parties of interest as well (sectors). Any forest genetic conservation effort should recognise these differences and adjust the measures designed with them.
Taking the available information in account, management techniques should be developed, aiming at the optimisation of achieving multiple targets. The preservation of genetic diversity and the evolutionary adaptability of forest species should be included in these targets, in order to secure the long term functioning of forest ecosystems and the production of goods and services for society. This “management-based” approach of biodiversity – and genetic diversity – conservation is more likely to become effective, since it can reconcile the targets of forest management for production and biodiversity conservation (Figure 2). Sustainable forest management can be organized, based on the need to secure the long-term persistence of forest ecosystems (Papageorgiou et al. 2003). As a result, multiple targets can be achieved.