More than 50 participants from 11 Asian and Pacific countries attended the first course of the Regional Training Centre on Forest Genetic Resources, held in Beijing and Shandon, China, from 28 October to 2 November 2016. In the four days of training, they developed conservation strategies for threatened tree species, learnt how genetic erosion can rapidly reduce fruiting and seed production in small populations, mapped out tree seed supply systems, and identified bottlenecks that tend to reduce genetic diversity of tree seed and practical actions that help maintain genetic diversity in seed supply. The training was conducted by Dr David Boshier from University of Oxford, using materials from the freely available Training Guide on Forest Genetic Resources that he has developed with Bioversity International scientists.
The Regional Training Centre on Forest Genetic Resources is a joint initiative by the National Forest Genetic Resources Platform of China, the Chinese Academy of Forestry, APFORGEN, Bioversity International, the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI), and China Happy Ecology Industrial Ltd., a private company working on tree breeding and ecological restoration. The initiative is spearheaded by Professor Zheng Yongqi from Chinese Academy of Forestry. The training was made possible with the generous support from China Happy Ecology Industrial Ltd.