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Jammu: First ever brainstorming workshop on rare, endemic, threatened (RET) plant Taxa was organized today at Forest Information Centre, Jammu.

The aim of workshop was to focus on identification, conservation and propagation of those plant species which due to habitat modification, fragmentation, soil degradation, proliferation of invasive alien species, forest fires, over-exploitation and climate change have shown drastic decline in the last few decades.

The chief guest, Commissioner Secretary, Forest, Ecology &Environment, M K Dwivedi, while sharing inputs on forest management and need for Biodiversity conservation emphasized the need for inclusion of rare, endemic and threatened plants in forest nurseries so that such plants are included in reforestation and afforestation works on priority.

On the occasion, chief guest Dwivedi, guest of honour, SureshChugh, Principal Chief Conservator Forests, J&K, Dr. C.M. Seth, in presence of O P Sharma, Director, State Forest Research Institute (SFRI), J&K and experts of various universities planted three selected RET saplings of rare and threatened tree taxa namely Rudraksh (Eleaocarpusangustifolius), Tumri(PittosporumEriocarpum) and Chain Champa (Magnolia kisopa).

The SFRI publication on Forest Tree Awareness Week focusing on old heritage and lesser-known trees was released during the workshop by the dignitaries.

Exhibition of RET plant saplings by Botanical Survey of India, Biodiversity products by State Biodiversity Board, Forest NTFP by Territorial Forest and seed display by SFRI added value to workshop and provided education to participants.

PCCF appreciated the initiative of SFRI for display of eco-friendly alternatives to polybags, exhibits of Biodiversity products, planting of Rare threatened taxa and getting valuable suggestions and inputs from researchers, experts, conservationists on conservation of target taxa.

The Director, SFRI presented data on survey of state threatened plants like Ratanjot (Arnebia), Tookansool (Atropa), Barmirukh (Taxis), Samma (Engelhardia), Tumri (Pittosporum), Meddasak (Litsea), Neelan (Olea), Patees (Aconitum), Seski (Artemsia), Chiuntar (Bischofia), Pajja(Prunus), Chilgoza (Pinus), Kaud (Picrorhiza), Trayaman (Gentiana), Burza (Betula), Pangoi (Acer), Dehri (Toona), Kakkadsingi (Pistacia) etc.

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