Based on the underlying philosophy that the answer to all of man’s problems is available in nature, the Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding on Monday inaugurated the fifth edition of its International Workshop on Casuarina trees at Mamallapuram.
Conceived with the aim of bringing together industries, casuarina farmers and researchers, the five-day workshop will be attended by delegates from research institutes around the world.
It will focus on propagating the message that plantation of casuarina trees is the solution to a gamut of present day problems, which include production of raw materials, coastal preservation, climate change and environment protection.
Inaugurating the workshop, Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, V Rajagopalan outlined that casuarina trees formed an integral part of India’s resources.
He said “with a coastline of over 6,000 kms that is prone to cyclones, sand dunes and soil erosion, the casuarina trees form a useful buffer against calamities and environment problems and help protect industrial and environmental interests in over 10 States and UTs in the country”. He said it was no surprise that peninsular India had the largest number of casuarina trees and efforts such as this workshop helped propagate their importance.
Based on statistics, Rajagopalan explained that casuarina trees were integral for India to achieve the goals of the National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC).
“Enhancing green cover is of utmost importance and planting casuarina trees outside forest areas will not only help the country achieve its aim of having one-third of its area as forests, but will also help counter a number of industrial and economic challenges,” he added.
During the conference, researchers across various fields from environment to genetics will outline the pertinence of casuarina trees to problems of the future and come up with ways to achieve its propagation.