The genetic diversity found within used and usable flora is of incalculable environmental and economic value and is essential for the future of plant breeding in agriculture and horticulture. The components that result in this diversity are also significant for the production of food, medicines and raw materials.
Political and legal framework conditions in the form of international agreements (Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya Protocol and International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture), as well as European and national laws and provisions, regulate the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources. In Germany, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is responsible for implementing this strategic goal. The Information and Coordination Centre for Biological Diversity (IBV) of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) coordinates strategies for the conservation and use of plant genetic resources. The IBV also directs the National Inventory on Plant Genetic Resources in Germany (PGRDEU).
One of the methods of conserving biological diversity is conserving plant genetic resources in ex situ plant collections. A number of gene banks were established for this purpose. Information about existing gene banks and relevant institutions in Germany are published in the genetic resources information system (GENRES) of the BLE. The Federal Plant Variety Office coordinates the German Gene Bank for Ornamentals and is a partner in the gene bank network for roses and coordination centre for the German Gene Bank for Rhododendrons, as well as the sub gene banks for seed propagated ornamentals and vegetatively propagated ornamentals. It contributes to the conservation of established plant species in the gene bank networks for fruit crops and vines.