11 June 2020.
Uttarakhand opens its first biodiversity park in Haldwani to encourage conservation especially of the medicinal plants as the state’s rich botanical heritage is facing threats from climate change, degrading landscapes, habitat loss and development activities. This was opened on World Environment Day in keeping with the theme of ‘’Celebrate Biodiversity”
- The hill state has been rich in biodiversity but is losing them due to climate change, degrading landscapes, fragmentation of habitat and increased development work.
- Food products from India’s hills and mountains are gaining popularity across the globe. Many of them are labelled as ‘super foods’ and have an established market. But because of lack of efforts to conserve local wild food varieties, their existence is threatened.
- The new plantations coming up in the hilly regions of India are giving importance to commercially viable food items. This has lead to threats to local food varieties.
About the park:
- The park has been developed with an aim to convey significance of each plant in human lives.
- Park is divided into 10 zones with a variety of plant species collected from Niti Mana valley and glaciers of Kedarnath.
- Lichens, mosses and ferns from the Jurassic Era and trees like banyan and Peepal find their place in it.
- The park has been developed by the research wing of the forest department of the state.
- Department has also set up a state- of the – art Automatic Weather Station in which different parameters of the environment are recorded every moment to monitor climatic conditions.
- Plant species have been divided into spiritual, religious, scientific, human, health and aesthetic value sections.
- Spiritual section has plants that have mention in the holy scrpitures.
- The park is divided into 40 thematic sections.
- The park includes local varieties such as Kaphal, Ghingaru, Hisalu and Kilmora.
- Park showcases different topographies of the state of Uttarakhand i.e.
Alpine, bhabhar, sub- mountainous mountainous, loam and terai etc.