CM calls for regularizing harvesting of medicinal plants; announces fund, posts for forest dept

ITANAGAR, May 24: Chief Minister Pema Khandu during a meeting with senior forest department officers at the PCCF office here on Wednesday advocated regularizing illegal harvesting of medicinal plants.
“These plants are predominantly of wild origin, with hundreds of species now threatened with extinction because of over-harvesting and destructive collection techniques,” the CM said.
To stop unsustainable harvesting and to devise a mechanism so that farmers can grow endangered medicinal plants to earn sustainable income, the chief minister urged the department to bring out a policy to legalize the trade and to enable the state to earn revenue out of it.
Responding to the department’s grievances, he announced a fund of Rs 15 crore for forest regeneration work in the state. He also announced to create 200 posts of forest guards, besides sanctioning 10 vehicles.
He congratulated the Bugun community for winning the India Biodiversity Award 2018 in the ‘Conservation of wildlife species’ category, conferred by the National Biodiversity Authority.
Saying the government alone cannot protect nature, he encouraged local communities to come forward and do so. He also suggested using innovative practices and technology for conservation of biodiversity. (CMO)