The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar released the biennial “India State of Forest Report (ISFR)”, in New Delhi on December 30. The report is published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) which 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.
Announcing the results the Union Minister said that India is among few countries in the world where forest cover is consistently increasing. Shri Javadekar told that in the present assessment, the total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare which is 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country.
The Environment Minister further said that as compared to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the total forest and tree cover of the country. “Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 3,976 sq km and that in tree cover is 1,212 sq. km; Range increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest and moderately dense forest and the top three states showing increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq. km) followed by Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km) and Kerala (823 sq km).”, said the Minister.
Some Major Findings
Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%).