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Forest Genetic Resources Conservation and Utilization

Anandalakshmi, Rekha R Warrier

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3rd July 2023. 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ( Room 2)


Forest Genetic Resources Conservation and Utilisation through collaboration and policy development.

Forest Genetic Resources (FGRs) constitute a very important sub-set of biodiversity. Defined as “the heritable materials maintained within and among tree and other woody plant species that are of actual or potential economic, environmental, scientific or societal value” (FAO, 2014), FGRs are very essential for the adaptation and the evolutionary processes of forests and trees as well for improving their resilience and productivity. In addition, the FGRs at the levels of species, populations, and individuals form a very vital and irreplaceable resource for the benefit of mankind. In India alone, more than 340 million people are estimated to be dependent upon the FGRs for their livelihoods! The Forest Genetic Resources (FGRs), unlike the agriculture or horticulture crops, are typically long-lived plant resources with scattered populations and most of the species coming to flowering at ages more than 10 years making collection of germplasm and its evaluation a long-drawn effort. With country’s forest area spread over more than 21% of its landmass, it would take time to explore, document and assess conservation status of the multitude of FGRs. Conserving genetic diversity is an essential component of sustainable forest management. Rapidly changing climate presents new threats to the conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR). Realising the importance to strike a balance between production forestry for sustainable utilisation and conservation, during XI five year plan period, to set in motion the exclusive conservation efforts for FGR, a national level network termed 'Forest Genetic Resource Management Network (FGRMN)' was initiated by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Forests with the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB), Coimbatore as its regional Centre for South and Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun at the North. The Institute is presently implementing a five-year national programme for conservation and development of FGRs with funding support of the CAMPA, MoEFCC, GoI.

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