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The subject of conservation and management of Forest Genetic Resources is gaining tremendous significance world over and particularly in India as the country has a rich repository of FGR particularly tree resources of ecological and economical significance. In view of their socio-economic importance and contribution to the forest based industries, a large number of initiatives have been taken in the country for improving the productivity of forest plantations through tree improvement, involving breeding, biotechnology and silviculture. However, the information on these valuable resources as well as the improvement efforts lies scattered in various statistics and research reports of forest departments, agricultural universities and wood-based industries.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests, has recognised the Institute of Forest Genetic Resources Tree Breeding, Coimbatore for establishment of a Thematic ENVIS on Forest Genetic Resources and Tree Improvement (FGR-TIP). The Centre was formally inaugurated by Dr V. Rajagopalan, then Secretary, MoEF, Government of India on 3rd February, 2014 during the Fifth InternationalCasuarina Workshop held at Mamallapuram in the presence of Dr N. Krishna Kumar then Director, IFGTB and Dr Balakrishna Pisupati, then Chairperson, National Biodiversity Authority.
The potential of FGRs being large in a country like India, where a large sector of the rural population are dependent on forest genetic resources for livelihood security and poverty alleviation, there is a need to churn out large volumes of information on FGRs through research being carried out by various organisations in the country. IFGTB will be the single window information provider on FGR through this ENVIS centre for ecological and economic gain through trees.