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Socio-economic implications of and recommendations for the use of GMTs e Working Group 3 of COST Action FP0905
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TOPIC: Novel impacts at local level

Novel impacts at local level 7 years 5 months ago #62

  • Frank Casio
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Will COST be looking into the novel impacts that the genetic modification of forest trees may bring about for local communities? Intensively managed planted forests, arguably, have already been seen to have many detrimental impacts on the communities living in close proximity to them - especially in the developing world. Will tree improvement by genetic modification act to exacerbate these problems or even create novel ones? The potential that genetic modification allows in terms of accelerating the current slow increases in the productivity of plantations by conventional breeding to rapid advances in plantation productivity seems to be rather threatening in that natural resources (water, nitrogen etc.) may be depleted faster as forestry becomes more intensive. There may be benefits - possibly for local smallholders who may be able to produce more wood from less of their land. Will these issues of intensification and the impacts (direct and indirect) of other novel traits be explored? These seem especially relevant because it seems many of the proposed developments in GM trees include reducing rotation times and increasing yields in forestry.
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