The Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupendra Yadav has released the India State of Forest Report 2021 (ISFR) prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI). The FSI was entrusted with the task of assessing the country’s forest and tree resources.
Sharing the findings of the Forest Survey, the union minister said that the total forest and tree-covered area of the country is 80.9 million hectares, which is 24.62 percent of the total geographical area of the country. An increase of 2,261 sq km has been registered in the total forest and tree-covered area of the country as compared to the estimate of the year 2019.
Bhupendra Yadav expressed happiness over the fact that the current assessment for the year 2021 shows that more than 33 per cent of the geographical area of 17 states/UTs is covered with forests. He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the focus of the Government is not only on preserving the forests quantitatively but also on enriching them qualitatively.
The ISFR 2021 provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring, forest cover in tiger reserve areas, above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data and climate change hotspots in Indian forests.
Findings of ISFR Report 2021
- The total forested and tree-covered area of the country is 80.9 million hectares which is 24.62 percent of the total geographical area of the country. An increase of 2,261 sq km has been registered in the total forest and tree cover area of the country as compared to the estimate of 2019. Out of this, an increase of 1,540 sq km has been found in the forest cover and 721 sq km in the tree-covered area.
- The highest increase in forest cover has been observed in open forests, followed by very dense forests. The top three states showing increase in forest area are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km), followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km).
- In terms of area, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest area in the country. It is followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as a 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%).
- More than 33% of the geographical area of 17 states and union territories is covered by forest. These states and union territories include Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. On the other hand, five states and union territories have more than 75 per cent forest cover. Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Assam, Odisha have 33 to 75 per cent forest cover.
- The total area of mangrove area in the country is 4,992 sq km. The three states with maximum mangrove area are Odisha (6 sq km), Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
- The total carbon stock in the forest is 8,204 million tonnes.