Genetic Resources

Genetic resources are defined as genetic material, or hereditary material, of actual or potential value to human beings, e.g. for the breeding of agricultural crops or the extraction of active substances. Genetic resources are one of the three pillars of biodiversity and an expression of genetic diversity.

The German Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) distinguishes aquatic, forest, plant and animal genetic resources. This distinction addresses the groups of living beings that contain such resources, such as fish, trees, plants and animal species, as well as the potential or actual use of their genetic resources, especially for food, agriculture, forestry and commercial fishing.

The Information System Genetic Resources (GENRES) of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) offers further information on genetic resources for food, agriculture, forestry and commercial fishing, as well as a glossary (in German) of key concepts:

Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE). Information System Genetic Resources (GENRES) (2016). Online Version

Further information:

Potter, Christopher S./ Cohen, Joel I./ Janczewski, Dianne (ed.) (1993): Perspectives on biodiversity: case studies of genetic resource conservation and development. Washington: AAAS Press.

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