The Montesclaros Declaration

Prepared by a group of more than 70 forest pathologists (representing 17 nations) that attended an international IUFRO (1) meeting held at the Montesclaros Monastery in Cantabria, Spain during May 23th - 27th, 2011.

As scientists studying diseases of forest trees, we recognize that the international trade of plant material is increasing the risks to forest health worldwide. The evidence for this view is based on the recent, unprecedented rise in numbers of alien pathogens and pests emerging in natural and planted forest ecosystems in all parts of the globe. We thus propose a phasing out of all trade in plants and plant products determined to be of high risk to forested ecosystems but low overall economic benefit (2).

(1) IUFRO = International Union of Forest Research Organizations (

(2) We regard all international trade in containerized ornamental plant seedlings and trees intended as plants for instant landscape planting as low benefit in terms of overall economy but high risk to forest health. For instance, production of seedlings in low cost localities for outplanting in different and distant environments provides only a marginal net economic benefit to the whole area, but provides an efficient pathway for pathogen and pest dispersal. In addition, international trade in other plant materials (e.g., wood packaging, wood chips, etc.) should be scrutinized and more strictly regulated.

Individuals who wish to express their endorsement can send an email to noliveplants(at) with contact information (address, etc).

Supplement (pages 2-28)
Examples of severely damaging alien pathogens and pests of trees introduced by international trade of plants and plant products.

List of signers (page 29-31)

Complete document for download


"Biogeographical patterns and determinants of invasion by forest pathogens in Europe" by:
Santini et al. 2012, New Phytology 197: 238–250.

The Declaration in other languages

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Italian - Japanese - Portuguese - Russian - Spanish - Swedish


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