The Forests Dialogue Secretariat
T +1 203 432 5966
The Forests Dialogue
Genetically Modified Trees
The application of biotechnology to commercial plantation forestry—or Intensively Managed Planted Forests (IMPF)—is a controversial topic. Some stakeholders view biotechnology as a critical next step towards increased IMPF productivity, reduced the demand on natural forests, improved forest health, sustainability and lower greenhouse gas emissions an economic growth. While other stakeholder groups argue that the risk of negative impacts upon natural forest systems and local forest owners and communities outweighs any benefits and GM trees should be banned. Although the support for biotechnology is mixed, the use of genetically modified plants in traditional agriculture and landscape plant applications is becoming common throughout the world and it is likely that this practice will be extended into IMPF.
TFD = convened several Dialogues on GM trees to facilitate effective dialogue among global stakeholders representing broad interests and opinions and to provide the “non-adversarial” framework for initiating and continuing a focused discussion on the pros and cons of GM tree applications within IMPF issue.
After the scoping dialogue in New Haven, USA in the fall of 2011, TFD convened another scoping dialogue in Gland, Switzerland to capture more of the predominant European stakeholder positions on the GM Trees issue. The dialogue was hosted by IUCN at the organization’s headquarters in Gland.
TFD initiated its Genetically Modified Trees Dialogue series with a Scoping Dialogue in New Haven, USA. The purpose of this dialogue was to build shared understanding of the range of issues and perspectives on GM trees, to identify key areas of agreement and disagreement, and the potential role and focus of any subsequent TFD engagement. Participants represented a diversity of interests including forest sector corporations, other forest owners, non-government and civil society organizations, the World Bank, and universities