To what extent are genetic resources considered in environmental service provision?
Planting trees to sequester carbon dioxide mitigates climate change, but it has beencontended that insufficient attention is given to the quality of the germplasmestablished in afforestation/reforestation programmes, limiting sequestration opportunities.To understand current practices in the choice, sourcing and delivery of treeplanting material, we undertook a desk review of 38 Clean Development Mechanism(CDM) afforestation/reforestation project design documents (PDDs) from Africa,Asia and Latin America. Detailed examination indicated most PDDs identified forplanting species that could be locally appropriate, with a large number ofindigenous taxa as well as exotics chosen. The number of indigenous species insome designs appeared however to be unrealistic in terms of ensuring germplasmaccess. Reference to an online germplasm supplier database and comparison withthe available literature supported the hypothesis that many PDDs pay insufficientattention to the choice, sourcing and delivery of planting material, which islikely to impact on the quality of the trees planted. Moving forward, it isclear that greater attention to available sources, more local testing of germplasmand working in closer relationship with local communities in nurserydevelopment are among the interventions required to support tree-basedsequestration initiatives.