“Rare Tree Species Conservation Centre”: Restoring the resilience of forest landscape

Establishing a rare tree species conservation centre for building  resilience with forest

Establishing a rare tree species conservation centre
for building resilience with forest

Forests play crucial ecological, social and economic functions in society as they play a significant part in conserving biodiversity. Forest landscapes have a key role in hydrological cycle that in turn provide water and food security. But against odds of climate change, fragmentation, soil erosion, degradation, desertification and pest and disease proliferation worldwide forest landscape need to be restored to help tackle them better against these global challenges.

Rare tree species conservation centre (RTSCC) involves planting of rare key stone tree species with high ecological values outside their natural habitat. The main objective of setting up of this rare tree species centre is to establish the gene bank of these highly threatened species of the local forest and to develop the nursery of these rare species in future so that the seedlings of these rare species can be replanted in the forest to restore and enrich the floral diversity of the region.

Thus establishing a rare tree species conservation centre not only provides an insurance policy against extinction but eventually supports in-situ conservation for restoring resilience to the forest landscapes.

In order to establish the gene bank of the highly threatened and rare varieties of medicinal, wild fruit and other food species and to develop their nursery for planting back of the seedlings of these rare species for restoring and enriching the floral diversity of the region, the Haldwani forest division has conceptualized the model of rare tree species conservation centre (RTSCC). Taking an initiative in this direction, Haldwani forest division has set up a rare tree species conservation centre at Sultan Nagri block of its Chhakata range.

This is an attempt to identify and grow the local rare tree species of medicinal, wild fruit and other food species at a place to set up the conservation centre. The major wild fruit species which have been planted in this conservation centre include Falsa, Sallu, Kainth, Kumbhi, Amra, Barna, Bhilawa, Mainfal, Pachnala and Ankol etc.  Besides, a variety of the medicinal tree species  like  Thanela, Padal, Pula, Sarpadansi, Maida, Chirongi, Vishtendu, Bijasal, Borang have also been planted in this centre. Apart from some fodder species like Ekdaniya, Udaal and others threatened shrub species, some oil yielding tree species including  Kusum, Salai, Indian butter tree to name a few  have also been planted in  this rare tree species conservation centre. Further to strengthen the rare tree species conservation centre many new species can also be identified and conserved in the centre in the coming years.

It is hoped that this centre will also raise the awareness among the common people and environmentalist for protecting and conserving these rare tree species in the wild. The reforestation of these species as in-situ conservation will reduce the possibility of extinction and enhance the capacity of forest ecosystem to respond to the disturbance and perturbation.

Thus selecting the right key species based on experience and expertise of forest ecologists and senior field foresters and replicating them through such models of Rare Tree Species Conservation Centre followed by planting them back in the forest to restore and enrich the floral diversity of the region can certainly help in restoring the resilience of forest landscapes.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Chandrashekhar Sanwal (Indian Forest Service, India) – chandra.sanwal(at)gmail.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as entry #39 of our #Forests2015 blog competition. It is submitted in the “Youth” category.

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43 thoughts on ““Rare Tree Species Conservation Centre”: Restoring the resilience of forest landscape

  1. It is amazing that you have been able to do such thorough research not once, not twice but thrice along with your duty as an officer of manning an entire division. Hats off to your perseverance and diligence. Eagerly waiting for your fourth venture in under two months. Thank you Dr. Sanwal for allowing me to be a part of this never ending adventure. Keep up the good work!


    • Many thanks Dr Koko Rose for your encouraging words. Your comments seem to be the best one as it inspires the readers and researchers to show case their work in a platform like WFC 2015. I feel the credits should go to the social media team for involving the people like us. So hats off to the diligence and preservance to every member of Social media team of WFC 2015.


  2. Amazing work yet again Doctor Sanwal. This will go a long way in conserving some of the rarest of rare species. Praiseworthy indeed.


  3. Highly appreciable idea.nowadays, Most of the initiatives towards conservation of floral varieties focuses more on economic aspect. But this unique initiative will restore both ecological and economic value.


  4. Dear CS wonderful efforts to underline the attention of common people and environmentalist on rare and endangered tree species. This is the need of the hour to protect our biodiversity. In facts such efforts should be replicated in all the divisions of Uttarakhand. I congratulates to you and your entire team for this outstanding work. Keep it up and good luck.


  5. Greening with purpose. Generally foresters priority area is to greening irrespective of composition but your special interventions for RET species conservation is praiseworthy. I hope PCCF Uttarakhand will appreciate your work.


  6. They continue to play an important role in the subsistence and economy of poor people throughout the developing world, particularly in the agrobiodiversity-rich tropics. Despite their potential for dietary diversification and the provision of micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, they continue to attract little research and development attention.

    Alongside their commercial potential, many of the underused crops also provide important environmental services, as they are adapted to marginal soil and climate conditions.


  7. The use of the term underutilized to refer to categories of wild and cultivated plants invariably gives rise to a discussion of what the word actually means. This is a really good approach to introduce new plants for future. Good job by Dr Sanwal.


  8. Good thinking Chander. A lot need to be done to conserve the depleting gene pool and to stop extinction of many rare and important flora from this region.


  9. Conservation of rare trees/plants species at the ‘Rare species conservation centre’ at Haldwani Forest Division of Uttarakhand is very novel idea that needs to be replicated in many more forest divisions with in the country.
    Over the last many years our forest management and working Plan prescriptions were targeted towards species of commercial interest and in the process species with lesser economic value ( in terms of timber) got eliminated in the name of KUKAT (vernacular: bad wood) or acquired status of rare species. This project has the potential to revive such species.
    Migration of monkeys from forests to urban habitats is also attributed to less availability of wild fruits to them. If their natural food is made available in the forests jumping of these primates to urban areas from forest will be checked to some extent. Similar is the case of medicinal plants many of the medicinal plants are exploited badly many of then are not available in their natural habitats and this leads to spurious trade in medicinal plants.
    Dr. Sanwal and his team deserve compliments initiating this projects which has a potential to be replicated elsewhere.


    • Sir very much applicable as per your vision and experience and hope to get the model replicated along the foresrlandsape across the countries. Very nice expression on the retscc. Many thanks sir for sparing your precious time.


    • Many thanks Sir for the approval, acceptance and appreciations. Kindly share about you as I feel and believe it to be the first of its kind for the restoring resilience of our native forests in times to come.


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