Creation of Centre of Excellence on
Forest Genetic Resources (FGR) of India
Forest Genetic Resources (FGRs) constitute a very important sub-set of biodiversity Conserving FGR is vital, as they are unique and irreplaceable resources for the future. In India alone, more than 340 million people are estimated to be dependent upon the FGRs for their livelihoods. There is a definite need to address the FGR related issues through a comprehensive FGR conservation and development strategy and implementation plan. As per present state of knowledge, 18,236 higher plant species (18,159 Angiosperms and 77 Gymnosperms) documented from India so far (BSI, 2015: Plant Discoveries 2014). More than 80% of this higher plant diversity is contained in the forest habitats (≈14,500 species). About half of this forest plant diversity constitutes FGRs (≈7,250 species), the remaining being herbaceous flora including soft climbers, twiners, herbs, and grasses. FGRs contain a huge potential in ensuring food and health security of the country’s burgeoning human population and its livestock.
To generate understanding and knowledge on FGR, and to develop and strengthen in situ and ex situ FGR conservation programmes, the National CAMPA Advisory Council (NCAC) of Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change, Govt. of India has sanctioned a pilot project for Creation of Centre of Excellence on Forest Genetic Resources (CoFGR) at FRI Dehradun with a total budgetary outlay of Rs. 861.20 lakh. Under this pilot project the forest genetic resources of Uttrakhand will be explored, documented, characterized and conserved using modern tools and techniques. Based on the success of this project a national program on Conservation and Development of Forest Genetic Resources will be initiated and this will act a sound plateform for the creation of National Bureau of Forest Genetic Resources.
Project Coordinator: Dr. H.S.Ginwal, Scientist G, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun