"Conserving Rosewood genetic diversity for resilient livelihoods in Greater Mekong" is a regional initiative in which participating countries aim to safeguard the genetic resources of Dalbergia species by enhancing collaboration between forestry authorities and rural communities, and improving capacities.
Rosewood (Dalbergia spp.) is an extremely valuable timber. Over-exploitation has significantly reduced most species in their natural range. Trees are largely restricted to protected areas, but illegal harvesting, even of roots, continues. Associated forest degradation compromises rural livelihoods.
Many constraints limit conservation of Dalbergia. These include a lack of capacity to generate livelihood benefits for local communities from forest restoration, a lack of information about remaining populations and their conservation value, and a lack of cross-country collaboration. Conservation efforts are further constrained by the fact that Dalbergia planting material is severely limited.
Community nurseries are popular in restoration, but livelihood benefits for women and men are constrained by lack of attention to seed sources, germplasm quality and market linkages. Research shows that community nurseries and endangered species are particularly susceptible to genetic bottlenecks through poor collection practices. Low genetic diversity can lead to low seed production, as well as reduced survival and growth, compromising both current and future use, conservation, and adaptation.
APFORGEN is a regional programme and network with a holistic approach to the conservation and management of the Forest Genetic Resources (FGR) in the Asia-Pacific region
c/o Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry
XiangShan Road, Dongxiaofu No.1, Haidian district,
Beijing, People's Republic of China