Utmost need to conserve forest biodiversity in JK: Dir SFRI

SRINAGAR: Director State Forest Research Institute (SFRI), O P Sharma on Monday said that there was “an utmost need to conserve forest biodiversity in J&K” which is under serious threat.
Sharma was speaking during a daylong forest food festival-cum-biodiversity workshop at Yusmarg in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
J&K State Forest Research Institute (SFRI) in association with Centre for Conservation of Culture Heritage (CCCH) had organised the festival to create awareness about forest biodiversity and finding potential edible value of forest herbs and vegetables, an official note read.
He detailed about ‘National Biodiversity Act’ wherein local panchayats are empowered to stop illegal smuggling of medicinal and other non-forest timber produce (NTFP) from the forests.
Sharma said such programmes were need of the hour to create mass awareness among communities living near forests.
“Renowned chef, Mohammad Yasin Reshi of Institute of Hotel Management Srinagar prepared as many as 10 dishes of various forest herbs which included dishes prepared from Pamb Haakh, Obej, Lai Gassa, Panz Unggee, etc. He also prepared Halwa from wild corn flour which was served as a dessert,” the note read.
Sharma said such activities will be organised in other places of state “so that more and more people are reached out during this campaign”, it added.