THE RECENT move of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department to re-introduce largescale cultivation of eucalyptus trees in the state invites stiff resistance from environmentalists on the ground it would create ecological imbalance. Experts have always raised concern over the extensive cultivation of this species. "Monoculture of eucalyptus cannot be recommended," said Supraja Dharani, Tree Foundation. "If the intention of the forest department is to increase forest cover in the state, it should plant indigenous species of trees and maintain the bio-diversity of the region," she added.

Plant ecologists, as well as farmers and gardeners, took note of a particularly harsh turn of the weather in early April, 2007. The

The term bioprospecting has been widely used to assess the economic potential of different plant species and their value-addition. Our folklore with embedded cultural heritage has tremendous possibilities and potential for bioprospecting. Among the over 8000 species of flowering plants growing in the Himalaya, nearly 4000 are identified from the Garhwal Himalayan region. This part of region enjoyed a significant place throughout its history.

Resource-rich Nagaland is plagued by bio-piracy, with rare medicinal herbs, orchids and other endangered species being smuggled out of the State, NGOs have claimed. Many plants are being taken away by pharmaceutical companies through middlemen who engage locals to collect naturally grown species for paltry sums, Thomas Rengma, Media Secretary of Peoples Group, a Naga environment NGO, told PTI.

Plants are an integral part of life and culture. Folk songs give an idea of plants growing in the surrounding environs of tribal's and throw light on plant-based practices in usage in various spheres of their lives, including the material benefits derived and recreational opportunities offered. This article talks about the desert plants like khejri, ber and its uses.

Not only is coffee production in Ethiopia significant in economic, social and environmental terms for the country itself

Local bodies and their representatives have a crucial and paramount role to play in the protection of biodiversity and in the conservation of fauna and flora, according to National Biodiversity Authority chairman S Kannaiyan. There were 15,000 different types of medicinal plants in the country, and 429 varieties were facing threat of extinction, he said. Medicinal plants, available abundantly in the rural areas, needed to be conserved and the local bodies should document them, he said.

The first meeting of an expert committee on medicinal plants has urged the Forest Department to submit a report, within a month, on in situ conservation and preservation of medicinal plants in natural habitats.

The battles lines in the power struggle over seeds are shifting in Europe. Authorities are dropping plans to push US-led "first generation' genetically modified organisms (GMOs), so that European companies can develop "covert' GMOs and new "double-locked' seeds instead. In 2008, the Sarkozy regime will use the French presidency of the European Union to promote its own corporate-led agenda on these issues. It is becoming more important than ever that farmers assert their collective rights over seeds. Guy Kastler of the Peasant Seed Network in France explains. April 2008

The Tibet