The growing human population continues to increase the pressure on forests to provide wood products, including fuel for cooking and heating. Land is being cleared for agriculture, fuelwood, and urbanization. These practices are endangering forest genetic resources around the world. Many of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems are found in the tropics and subtropics, often in developing countries where pressure on the land is great and financial resources to protect the environment are limited.
As a result, protection of these valuable resources in situ (on site) is an ongoing challenge for conservation organizations. Establishing a representative portion of the genetic base at a new location where it can be protected ex situ (off site) has also proven to be very effective. Additionally, ex situ conservation allows for the possible reintroduction of the species or population into the original area once local environmental concerns have been addressed.