India’s forest, tree cover up by 1 per cent in 2 years: Minister

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Feb 2018 09:12:33


Delhi Bureau,


Maharashtra has been found to have maximum water bodies inside forests

COURTESY three southern States of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala showing maximum increase in Forest cover, India has increased its net forest and tree cover by 1 per cent compared to previous assessment in 2015, putting India among top 10 nations in terms of Forest Area.

Notably, the very dense forest (VDF) known as lungs of earth increase by 1.36% as compared to last assessment, told Union Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan at the release of India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 in New Delhi on Monday, also informing India is placed 8th in the list of Top Ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area according to this report.

Increase in water bodies inside forest areas has been found to be maximum in Maharashtra, followed by Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh according to this report, while MP continues to have largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Strongly emphasising the increasingly green credentials of the country, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that India has shown an increasing trend in the forest and tree cover, in comparison to the global trend of decreasing forest cover during the last decade.

He also pointed out that India ranks among the top ten countries of the world in terms of forest area, despite the fact that none of the other 9 countries has a population density of more than 150 persons per sq km, compared to India, which has a population density of 382 persons per sq km.

“India is ranked 10th in the world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover, even though it accounts for 2.4% of the world surface area and sustains the needs of 17% of human and 18% livestock population”, the Minister said.

He averred that despite such tremendous population and pressures of livestock on our forests, India has been able to preserve and expand its forest wealth.
Dr Harsh Vardhan added that as per the latest FAO report, India is placed 8th in the list of Top Ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area. Quoting figures from the India State of Forest Report 2017, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the latest assessment shows that there is an increase of 8,021 sq km (about 80.20 million hectare) in the total forest and tree cover of the country, compared to the previous assessment in 2015.