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India State of Forest Report 2019

India State of Forest Report 2019

  • The India state of Forest report is published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI).
  • FSI has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country including wall-to-wall forest cover mapping in a biennial cycle.
  • Starting 1987, 16 assessment have been completed so far. ISFR 2019 is the 16th report in the series.
Indian Forest Report 2019 for UPSC Exam
Green cover in India

Key Findings

  • Forest Cover
    • Forest Cover (Area-wise) : Madhya Pradesh> Arunachal Pradesh> Chhattisgarh> Odisha> Maharashtra.
    • Forest Cover (Percentage): Mizoram (85.4%)> Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%)> Meghalaya (76.33%)
  • Increase in Forest Cover
    • The country’s forest cover includes all patches of land with a tree canopy density of more than 10% and more than 1 hectare in area, irrespective of land use, ownership and species of trees.
    • The total forest cover of the country is 7,12,249 sq km which is 21.67% of the geographical area of the country.
    • The top five states 
  1. Mizoram (85.41%)
  2. Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%)
  3. Meghalaya (76.33%)
  4. Manipur (75.46%)
  5. Nagaland (731%)
  • Decline of Forest Cover in North Eastern Region
    • Total forest cover in the North Eastern region is 1,70,541 sq km, which is 65.05% of its geographical area.
    • There has been a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 765 sq km (0.45%) in the region. Except Assam and Tripura, all the States in the region show decrease in forest cover.
  • Forest Cover in Tribal Districts
    • The total forest cover in the tribal districts is 4,22,351 sq km, which is 37.54% of the geographical area of these districts.
    • There has been a decrease of 741 sq km of forest cover within the Recorded Forest Area/ Green Wash (RFA/GW) in the tribal districts and an increase of 1,922 sq km outside.
    • There has been a decline in tree cover inside forests due to tribal populations getting “land titles” (patta) and there has been a rise in trees outside the forest area due to an increase in tree plantation and afforestation activities.
India state of forest report 2019
  • Increase in the tree cover
    • Tree cover comprises of tree patches of size less than 1 hectare occurring outside the recorded forest area.
    • The tree cover of the country is estimated as 95,027 sq km which is 2.89% of the geographical area.
    • Maharashtra has had the highest increase in tree cover and a large part of that is due to horticulture.
  • In comparison to 2017
    • The 2019 survey has found an increase of 5,188 sq km in total forest and tree cover in the country.
    • Tree and forest cover together made up 24.56% (8,07,276 sq km) of India’s area. In the last assessment it was 24.39%.
    • The nation’s tree and forest cover has largely hovered from 21-25% and is short of the National Forest Policy, 1988, which envisages 33% to be under such cover.
  • Mangrove cover in the country has increased by 54 sq km (1.10%) as compared to the previous assessment.
  • Carbon Stock
    • The total carbon stock of the country was estimated at 7124 million tons, which is an increase of 42.6 million tons from the last assessment.
    • It implies that India is on the right track to achieve its Paris Agreement commitment of 2.5 -3 billion carbon sinks.
  • Wetlands
    • The total number of wetlands located within the RFA/GW is 8.13%.
    • Amongst the States, Gujarat has the largest area of wetlands within RFA in the country followed by West Bengal.
  • Forest Produce
    • Dependence of fuelwood on forests is the highest in the State of Maharashtra, whereas, for fodder, small timber and bamboo, dependence is highest in Madhya Pradesh.
  • The analysis reveals that 21.40% of the forest cover of the country is highly to extremely fire prone.
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