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 demand on natural forests, improved forest health, sustainability and lower greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth. 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.