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Forest, tree cover in India up by 2,261 square km in two years: Forest Survey

tree cover
Indian Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav releasing the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ prepared by the Forest Survey of India, in New Delhi on January 13, 2022. Photo: PIB

New Delhi, Jan 13 (MNN) There has been an increase of 2,261 square km in total forest and tree cover in the last two years across the country, the ‘Forest Survey report 2021’ released on Thursday revealed.

While forest cover has increased by 1,540 sq km, tree cover has gone up by 721 sq km compared with the 2019 figures.

The total forest and tree cover now in India is 80.9 million hectare, or 24.62 per cent of the geographical area.

Increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest.

Indian Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav said after releasing the ‘India State of Forest Report 2021’ prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) that the focus of the Modi government is not just to conserve forests quantitatively but to qualitatively enrich them.

Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.

In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).

As many as 17 states and UTs have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover.

Out of these states and UTs, five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 per cent forest cover while 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33 per cent and 75 per cent.

Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km. An increase of 17 sq km in mangrove cover has been observed compared with 2019 assessment.

Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).

Total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes, an increase of 79.4 million tonnes compared with 2019. The annual increase in the carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.

The ISFR-2021 provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, forest cover in tiger reserve areas, above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data and climate change hotspots in Indian forests.

The full report is available at the following URL: https://fsi.nic.in/forest-report-2021-details

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