The Juniper, “Juniperus Polycarpous” from the Cupressaceae family, is commonly known as the Himalayan “pencil cedar”. It is locally known as ‘Shukpa’ in Ladakhi communities. The plant is of great socio-cultural and religious importance to the local communities of the Ladakh region and is considered one of the sacred trees amongst the Buddhist communities.
The Plantation Team of the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh, held a one-day event on juniper plant propagation techniques. Mr. Mohammad Mehdi, Kargil Forester, was invited to share his insights and experiences on propagating and caring for Juniperus Polycarpous trees. The session was organized as part of the Ecology department’s efforts to build capacity in the field of Juniper conservation. The department is presently working to bolster its collection of Juniperus seedlings, protect local biodiversity, and restore Juniper forests in the region.