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‘State yet to harness potential of forest’
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, NOV 27(NPN):
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Published on 28 Nov. 2010 12:12 AM IST
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Minister for forest, environment, ecology & wildlife and excise MC Konyak on Saturday said state was yet to harness the potential of forest due to its difficult geographical terrain, political situation and lack of investment.
The minister was speaking at the release of book on medicinal and aromatic flora at Hotel Saramati.
The book funded by the Forest department under ‘Floristic Diversity of Nagaland’ project was complied in collaboration with Nagaland University officials, Dr. Sapu Changkija, Ajungla L, Rongsensashi and Renchumi Mozhui.
While underscoring the need for documentation of departments, Konyak lamented that all the departments in the state were still lacking in putting up this effort. Expounding on the relationship between forest and Naga people, Konyak maintained that it was the source of life for Naga people which has sustained them for ages. “The economy of people depend more on forest produce” he affirmed.
Pointing out that medicinal plants were an economically viable option for the farmers, Konyak stated herbal gardens across the state have become an asset and achievement for the department.
It may be mentioned that 9 herbal gardens has been sanctioned by the government, out of which, two are still under completion.
A four member team from National medicinal plant board namely Dr. D K Ved, P A Sawant, Dr. N .Padma Kumar and Dr. Brindabanam from Dabur also attended the function.
HoD, Genetics & Plant Breeding, SASRD (NU) Dr Sapu Changkija in his speech admitted that documenting the entire flora of the state was a Herculean task considering the varieties of plants growing in the region. And keeping this difficulty in mind, Dr. Changkija said that a floristic diversity research was first made. He also informed that a total of 670 species of plant has been identified by the team within the last four years. “More than 60 species of bamboo has been identified and many more are yet to be identified”, he also added.
Terming Patkai range as a ‘cradle of flowering plants’, Dr. Changkija asserted that flora in the state was still unique when compared to the eastern Himalayas due to the varied weather conditions. Lamenting that the state was still lacking behind in setting up research facility, Dr. Changkija pointed out that even the Botanical Survey of India was yet to document the plethora of flora growing in the state.
CCF T Lotha who gave a power point presentation on the viability of medicinal plants in the state asserted that it can change the whole economy for the Naga people.
Speaking on behalf of the monitoring team, Dr. Ved of NMPB expressed satisfaction over the progress made by the department in the field on medicinal plants. However, at the same time he also pointed out that the documentation of forest plants growing in the state was very less.
Forest department receives Rs. 70.32 crs for 2010-2011
As part of the Rs.138 crs sanctioned under 13th finance commission, forest department has received Rs.70.32 crs for 2010-2011. Confirming the information, minister MC Konyak disclosed that maximum of the funds would be spent on conserving the bio-diversity of the state.

 
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