JAMMU: Commissioner Secretary Forest, Ecology and Environment, M K Dwivedi, on Wednesday asked the Forest Department to cultivate Rare, Endangered Threatened (RET) plant species in its nurseries for their conservation. He was speaking at brainstorming workshop on rare, endemic, threatened (RET) taxa plant organized by Forest Department here at Forest Information Centre, Jammu. “Forest management and need for Biodiversity conservation calls for inclusion of rare, endemic & threatened plants in forest nurseries so that such plants are included in reforestation, afforestation works on priority” he said. He observed that habitat modification, fragmentation, soil degradation, proliferation of invasive alien species, forest fires, over exploitation and climate change have led to drastic decline in the last few decades and calls for conservation strategies both inside habitats i.e. in-situ as well as outside habitats ex-situ. He asked the organizers to organize more such workshop cum seminars as they promote sustainable use of medicinal plants which would improve the quality of the produce. “It is a learning process as we should work collectively to synergize our energy in preserving both humanity and ecology which compliment and also supplement for the betterment of State” he added. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Suresh Chugh, appreciated the initiative of SFRI in display of eco-friendly alternatives to polybags, exhibits of Biodiversity products, plant more of Rare threatened taxa and getting valuable suggestions and inputs from researchers, experts, conservationists on conservation of target taxa. The experts present in the workshop from different universities planted three selected RET saplings of rare & threatened tree taxa namely Rudraksh (Eleaocarpus angustifolius), Tumri ( Pittosporum eriocarpum) and Chain Champa (Magnolia kisopa). The State Forest Research Institute (SFRI) publication on Forest Tree Awareness Week focusing on old heritage and lesser known trees was released at the workshop by the chief guests. Exhibition of RET plant saplings by Botanical Survey of India, Biodiversity products by State Biodiversity Board, Forest NTFP by Territorial Forest and seed display by SFRI added value to workshop and provided education to participants. The certificates of participation were distributed among the participants also.