The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released the India State of Forest Report 2021. Read to know the details of the report here. The India State of Forest Report 2021 (ISFR) has found the country’s forest cover has increased by 1,540 sq km since 2019. But a decline in the Northeast and degradation of natural forests are a concern. In October 2021, MoEFCC proposed an amendment to the Forest Conservation act, of 1980 to bring a few important changes to forest governance in India.
- The forest and tree cover in the country continues to increase. An additional cover of 1,540 square kilometers increased over the past two years.
- India’s forest cover is now7,13,789 square kilometers (21.71% of the country’s geographical area) which is an increase from 67% in 2019.
- Tree cover is defined as all tree patches of size less than one hectare occurring outside the recorded forest area. This covers trees in all formations including scattered trees. Tree cover has increased by 721 sq km.
- The states that have shown the highest increase in forest cover are Telangana (3.07%), Andhra Pradesh (2.22%), and Odisha (1.04%).
- Five states in the Northeast have shown a loss in forest cover: Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland.
- Mangroves have increased by 17 sq km making India’s total mangrove cover as 4,992 sq km.
- Top 3 states showing mangrove cover increase: Odisha (8 sq km), Maharashtra (4 sq km), and Karnataka (3 sq km).
- The total carbon stock in the country’s forests is estimated at 7,204 million tonnes, showing an increase of 79.4 million tonnes since 2019.
- Bamboo forests have grown from 13,882 million culms (stems) in 2019 to 53,336 million culms in 2021.
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