Crafting a weed into a wonder


The initiative to make craft items and furniture from Lantana  camara, one of the world's most invasive weeds, has helped improve the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities in the areas of MM Hills and Bandipur. Lantana was introduced as an ornamental plant in India by the British in 1807. As per estimates, over 60% of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is covered with Lantana, which is seriously affecting the biodiversity. The Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) envisioned the utility of Lantana and facilitated the training of Soliga people of MM Hills in Chamarajanagar district.