CSIR - Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine organises 8th Tree Talk Anniversary

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The biodiversity conservation and awareness-centric tree talk campaign, launched eight years ago on December 19, 2010, to coincide with the United Nations Decade of Biodiversity 2011-2020, celebrated its 8th Foundation Day. CSIR-IIIM organised 670 garden tree talks. Scientists from the CSIR-IIIM, herbal experts, school students, conservationists, tree talk enthusiasts, ayurvedic doctors and morning walkers participated in the tree talks.

Director Ram Vishwakarma gave details of the developmental activities and the research undertaken on medicinal and aromatic plants at the CSIR-IIIM. He said the IIIM, earlier known as the Regional Research Laboratory (RRL), had a rich herbarium, which was named after EK Janaki Ammal, the first PhD woman scientist from Kerala who worked at the RRL. On the occasion, Dr. Ram also appreciated the Tree Talk initiative which has made not only field Taxonomy popular among youngsters but has also revived forgotten forest cum traditional plant cuisine innovations in the Jammu and Kashmir. Only Taxonomy centric Biodiversity awareness movement launched 8 years ago has made its impact across all nook & corners of the state. On completion of 8 years long journey, Dr. Ram, lauded the Biodiversity awareness cum conservation movement which brought in the participation of whole society. Dr Ram Vishwakarma also planted sapling of lesser known native Himalayan Cherry Prunus cerasoides locally called Pajja (Padmaka in Sanskrit) to mark the occasion.

Dr. Ram also told that the Herbarium data at IIIM, Jammu is digitized and can be assessed online to know past history, ecology, morphology of plants and the Herbal garden of institute has rich repository of aromatic medicinal plants, some unique introductions include Boswellia serrata, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Saraca asoca, Nothapodytes nimmoniana, Millingtonia hortensis, species of Ocimums, Mentha, Origanum, Lavender, Glycyrhiza, Symphytum, Tinospora, Chaemecostus , Grewia , Cymbopogon etc. Under Aroma mission, work is in progress on several plants like Tagetus minuta , Lavandula , Monarda , Mentha piperata , Rosemarinus , Colebrookia , Pogostemon , Ocimum. IIIM has been designated nodal agency to work on therapeutic qualities of Cannabis sativa.
The Plant experts who shared valuable inputs, made powerpoint presentations on tree diversity, sacred groves, Aroma mission, RET Taxa, Tree medicine, tree propagation, tree conservation included Prof Yashpal, Dr Y S Bedi, Dr Dheeraj Vyas, Dr Sumit Gairola, Dr Nagender Singh, Prof Romesh Atri, Majid Farooq and others. More than 400 students drawn from various schools including students of RRL High School participated in the green get-together, took round of IIIM E K Janaki Ammal Herbarium, Herbal garden repository and witnessed ceremonial tree planting. Plant saplings of Chinar, Bael, Harad, Baheda, Jamun, Dhamnan, Sahonjana, Kachnar, Semal, Toon, Reetha, Amaltas, Varuna, Amla, Kadamb, Tinbru, Pajja, Neem, Laksmi taru, Siris, Parijat, Sukh chain arranged by SFRI were distributed among NGO's, School teachers, IIIM scientists and members of civil society. Certificates of participation were distributed to Tree Talk enthusiasts and Environmentalists to acknowledge their notable achievements and contribution in extending green efforts in the state.