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14 May 2019

Restoring trees for biodiversity and herbal gardens

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Restoring forests contributes to higher levels of biodiversity. After all, trees provide different soil nutrients, shadow for those smaller plants that need it and increase the maintenance of water in the ground, all of which contribute to medicinal plants and herbal gardens to flourish. The same herbal gardens that companies like the Himalaya Drug Company depend on.

To enhance biodiversity in India, they are supporting initiatives across the subcontinent. It does so along four pillars: health promotion, environment, livelihood and biodiversity. In the Khasi Hills they work together with WeForest and the local community federation to restore forests in the North Khasi Hills Ri-Bhoi District.

In April 2019, the team visited for the first time their planting sites near Mawtneng village in Rhi Bhoi. They participated in an awareness program and visited the planting sites. They mentioned that they were surprised by the excellent conditions of the sites with a high survival rate of the sapling, and they expressed their appreciation for the work the team and the community has done.  After they were taken to the Plot where the forestry team and the local people demonstrate how the trees were monitored, and finally they were taken to the Home-Based Nursery where about 19 local indigenous species were raised. Potentially even herbs such as Tulsi will be raised there in the future under this cooperation.

After all, a successful field visit which resulted in even higher motivation to keep restoring the forest in the Khasi Hills area and which is looking forward to engage into the creation of herbal gardens in the area.