Global commitments to conserving and monitoring genetic diversity are now necessary and feasible

Sean Hoban*, Michael W. Bruford, W. Chris Funk, Peter Galbusera, M. Patrick Griffith, Catherine E. Grueber, Myriam Heuertz, Margaret E. Hunter, Christina Hvilsom, Belma Kalamujic Stroil, Francine Kershaw, Colin K. Khoury, Linda Laikre, Margarida Lopes-Fernandes, Anna J. MacDonald, Joachim Mergeay, Mariah Meek, Cinnamon Mittan, Tarek A. Mukassabi, David O'BrienRob Ogden, Clarisse Palma-Silva, Uma Ramakrishnan, Gernot Segelbacher, Robyn E. Shaw, Per Sjögren-Gulve, Nevena Veličković, Cristiano Vernesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Global conservation policy and action have largely neglected protecting and monitoring genetic diversity - one of the three main pillars of biodiversity. Genetic diversity (diversity within species) underlies species' adaptation and survival, ecosystem resilience, and societal innovation. The low priority given to genetic diversity has largely been due to knowledge gaps in key areas, including the importance of genetic diversity and the trends in genetic diversity change; the perceived high expense and low availability and the scattered nature of genetic data; and complicated concepts and information that are inaccessible to policymakers. However, numerous recent advances in knowledge, technology, databases, practice, and capacity have now set the stage for better integration of genetic diversity in policy instruments and conservation efforts. We review these developments and explore how they can support improved consideration of genetic diversity in global conservation policy commitments and enable countries to monitor, report on, and take action to maintain or restore genetic diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)964-976
Number of pages13
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


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