The Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on 4 December 2015 released the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2015. The report states that India’s forest and tree cover has been increased by 5081 sq km.
The total forest and tree cover is 79.42 million hectare, which is 24.16 percent of the total geographical area. While the total forest cover of the country has increased by 3775 sq km, the tree cover has gone up by 1306 sq km.
Highlights of the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2015
• The total carbon stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7044 million tonnes, an increase of 103 million tonnes.
• Majority of the increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest category mainly outside forest areas, followed by Very Dense Forest.
• While Open Forest area has increased by 4744 sq km, which is 9.14 per cent of the geographical area.
• The area under Very Dense Forest has increased by 2404 sq kms, which is 2.61 percent of the geographical area.
• About 40 percent forest cover is in 9 big patches of 10000 sq km and more.
• The increase in total forest cover also includes an increase in the mangrove cover.
Changes observed in States as per India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2015
• The maximum increase in forest cover has been observed in Tamil Nadu that is 2501 sq km, followed by Kerala that includes 1317 sq km forest cover and Jammu & Kashmir with 450 sq km forest cover.
• Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77462 sq km in the country, followed by Arunachal Pradesh with a forest cover of 67248 sq km and Chhattisgarh with 55586 sq km.
• Mizoram with 88.93 percentage of forest cover has the highest forest cover in percentage terms, followed by Lakshadweep with 84.56 percent.
• 15 States/Union Territories have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur have more than 75 percent forest cover.
• While 8 states Tripura, Goa, Sikkim, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chhattisgarh and Assam have forest cover is between 33 percent to 75 percent.
The India State of Forest Report 2015 is the 14th report in the series. It is based on interpretation of LISS III sensor data of indigenous Resourcesat–II satellite. The satellite data interpretation is followed by extensive and rigorous ground truthing.
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