Forest Biotechnology

Genesis of Programme

Forests are the world’s greatest repository of terrestrial biomass, soil carbon and biodiversity. Forests provide a variety of provisioning, supporting, regulatory and cultural ecosystem services, which are crucial for the survival of human beings. Besides, forests contribute immensely towards maintaining local hydrological balance. Further, through providing a safe habitat for the large diversity of microbes, fauna and flora, forests play a pivotal role in biodiversity conservation. Conservation of biodiversity is the key to maintaining the flow of ecosystem services, and has important implications for future generations..

Considering the multidimensional importance of forest areas, the Department of Biotechnology initiated this program in the financial year 2018-2019 with the aim to support Research and Development (R&D) in the area of Forest Biotechnology. Efforts have been made by the Department through specific calls for research proposals to encourage R&D programs in emerging areas of Forest Biotechnology aiming at conservation of forests; promoting sustainable use of bioresources, such as medicinal plants, tree-borne oil seeds, resin and wax yielding plants; developing tools for mitigation and adaptation of climate change impacts; and enhancing carbon sequestration by the forest vegetation using state-of-the-art biotechnological approaches.

Aim of the Programme:

The overall aim of the program is to support R&D projects on Forest Biotechnology with a focus on cutting-edge biotechnological interventions for forest and biodiversity conservation, optimal resource utilization and climate change mitigation.

Priority Areas

  • Development of biotechnological mitigation and adaptation strategies to address the impact of climate change on forest ecosystems.
  • Cutting-edge research using technologies like tree genomics for understanding tree biology and improving productivity of forest tree ecosystems
  • Development of seed handling and molecular marker-based seed testing and certification technologies for development of quality seeds and planting materials for industrial forests
  • Development of site-specific biotechnological solutions for restoration and rehabilitation of degraded and fragile forest ecosystems
  • Development of technologies for measuring and maintaining ecosystem services from forests
  • Modeling and control of invasive species in protected areas using biotechnological approaches

Major Programmes and Initiatives

The Department has supported several individual-centric and multi-institutional R&D projects under this programme on various aspects of Forest Biotechnology. Some of the major R&D projects funded under this programme are:

  • Elucidating adaptation mechanism, migration pattern and reproductive biology of indicator temperate-alpine plants in Himalayas in response to changing climate using Biotechnological approach
  • Assessment of adaptive genetic diversity in Teak and Sandalwood to guide conservation and genetic improvement efforts
  • Co-management and sustainable use of non-timber forest products in three protected areas of Western Ghats
  • Development of novel PCR-free eDNA metabarcoding technology for quantitative biodiversity assessment in protected aquatic ecosystem
  • Efficacious management of wood borers in protected areas of forest by pheromone loaded organogel
  • Genome-wide and geospatial approaches for enhancing the adaptive potential of threatened rattan resources in India

Concerned Officer for more information

Programme Head Shri Chandra Prakash Goyal,Joint Secretary
Email cpgoyal[at]nic[dot]in
Phone No. 011-24362982
Program Officer: Dr. Onkar N. Tiwari,Scientist E
Email onkar[dot]dbt[at]nic[dot]in
Phone No. 011-24361290
Attached Officer: Dr. Amit Kumar Tripathi, Scientist C
Email amitkr[dot]tripathi[dot]dbt[at]nic[dot]in