New technologies can contribute to fight growing illegal logging worldwide. The Global Timber Tracking Network (GTTN) brings together all stakeholders concerned by illegal logging and associated trade to promote the integrated use of DNA and stable isotopes with existing technologies such as wood anatomy. So far the activities of the network are financed to a big proportion by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The Thünen Institute of Forest Genetics contributes to the network expertise and know how on DNA Barcodes to identify tree species, on genetic reference data to check timber origin and it provides input on standards for the laboratory work as well as experiences on technology transfer in timber producing developing countries.
The conservation work of forest genetic resources in Germany is coordinated since 1985 by a federal-state working group (BLAG). The BLAG is constituted by members from forest research institutions of the federal states as well as from the federal Thünen Institute of Forest Genetics and the federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) as well as the Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE). As a contribution to the implementation of the "Concept for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Forest Genetic Resources in the Federal Republic of Germany", the database FGRDEU-Online is operated.
The working group of the institutions for Forest Tree Breeding of the federal states (ARGE) coordinated since 1964 the planning and implementation of silvicultural and provenance trials as well as progeny testing in Germany. Members from the forest research institutions of the federal states as well as from the Thünen Institute of Forest Genetics are participating in this work. ARGE has taken over the duties of the Advisory Board of experts for the approval of forest reproductive material of the category "tested”.
Founded in 1951, the German Association of Forest Research Organizations (DVFFA) maintains since 2009 a section "Forest Genetics / Forest Tree Breeding". Here, representatives of universities and colleges as well as of forest state and federal institutions find a forum for sharing and transfering knowledge between research and practice.