Increase In Forest Area

Context:

  • India has increased its forest area in the past decade and ranks third globally in average annual net gain in forest area from 2010-2020, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) said in the annual Economic Survey.
  • India annually added an average 2,66,000 hectares of forest area over the period.

 

Background:

  • Forests covered 24% of India’s geographical area, accounting for 2% of the world’s total forest area in 2020, the department said.
  • The top 10 countries account for 66% of the world’s forest area.
  • Brazil (59%), Peru (57%), Democratic Republic of Congo (56%) and Russia (50%) have half or more of their geographical area under forests.
  • Much of India’s increase in forest cover from 2011-21 is attributed to enhancement in very dense forest cover, which rose by approximately 20%,the DEA said.
  • Open forest cover also improved by 7%.

 

Forest Survey report 2021:

  • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectare which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country.
  • As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country. Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km.
  • Increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest. Top three states showing increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km).
  • 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%).
  • 17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover.
  • Out of these states and UT’s, five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 percent 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 percent to 75 percent.
  • Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km.
  • An increase of 17 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019.
  • 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 and there an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2019.
  • The annual increase in the carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.

 

Source The Hindu

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