Biodiversity Park inaugurated at SKUAST-K

Greater Kashmir

To conserve the threatened and rare plant species of J&K, a biodiversity park carrying more than 100 ecologically important plants was inaugurated on Thursday at SKUAST-K’s Faculty of Forestry Benihama, Ganderbal.

In a statement the varsity said that the park has been developed and maintained by the Division of Natural Resource Management (NRM) of the Faculty of Forestry under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K.  Director Planning & Monitoring and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai inaugurated the biodiversity park.

Currently, the park is housing more than 100 species. Some of the ecologically important species in the park include Taxus contorta, Gingko biloba, Saussura costus, Betula utilis, Acer rubrum, Rhododendron spp., Juniperus spp., besides a variety of wild fruits, grasses/herbs and shrubs. These species include both indigenous and some exotic ones from temperate and subtropical regions. The biodiversity park is aimed at the conservation of some of the threatened species of the state, besides having a repository of plant species for education and learning of students and naturalists.

Prof NA Ganai while inaugurating the park congratulated Prof TH Masoodi, Dean, Faculty of Forestry SKUAST-K and other team members including Prof MA Islam, Dr Akhlaq Amin Wani, Dr Aasif Ali Gatoo, Dr Shah Murtaza and Dr Amir Farooq. On the occasion, the dignitaries along with the project team and HoDs of the faculty planted saplings in Pine Block of the park.