The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests & Climate Change Shri PrakashJavadekar today released the biennial report “India State of Forest Report (ISFR)” in New Delhi. The India State of Forest Report 2013 is 13th report in the series.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Javadekar said Government believed in Development without Destruction and respect for the Environment. Emphasising the need to enhance the forest cover in the Country Shri Javadekar said there was a need to make Afforestation the ‘People’s Movement’. It was critical for each stakeholder to participate in making Environmental sustainability a reality so as to ensure the agenda for Growth. Lauding the report, Shri Javadekar said the document captured the ground realities pertaining to the Environment.
The India State of Forest Report 2013 contains information on forest cover, tree cover mangroves cover and growing stock inside and outside the forest areas. Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill districts, tribal districts, and north eastern region had also been given separately in the report. The information of forest cover for all the States and districts for the current assessment and changes with respect to forest cover of previous assessment has been presented in the report.
Three new chapters have been added in the report:-
- Important Characteristics of India’s Forest (describes important features of forest areas like regeneration status, susceptibility to various injuries, crop composition, its origin, forest soil characteristic etc.);
- Trees in Agroforestry System (giving information on area, growing stock and carbon stock etc. underAgroforestry);and
- Urban Tree Resources (giving information on green cover and growing stock of wood in urban areas).
As per the present assessment, the total forest and tree cover of the country is 78.92 million hectare which is 24.01 percent of the geographical area of the country. As compared to the assessment of 2011, there is an increase of 5871 sq km in the forest cover of the country. The majority of the increase in the forest cover has been observed in open forest category mainly outside forest areas. The maximum increase in forest cover has been observed in West Bengal (3810 sq. km.) followed by Odisha (1444 sq. km.) and Kerala (622sq km).
Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77,522 sq. km. in terms of area in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh with forest cover of 67,321 sq. km. In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to total geographical area, Mizoram with 90.38 percent had the highest forest cover in terms of percentage of forest cover to Geographical area followed by Lakshadweep with 84.56 percent. The present assessment also reveals that 15 States/UTs had above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these States and UTs, eight states namely Mizoram, Lakshadweep, A&N Island, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura had more than 75 percent forest cover while 7 States namely Goa, Sikkim, Kerala,Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chhattisgarh and Assam had forest cover between 33% to 75%.
The total growing stock of India’s forest and trees outside forests is estimated as 5,658.046 million cum which comprises 4,173.362 million cum inside the forests and 1484.68 million cum outside the forests. In the present assessment, total carbon stock in country’s forest was estimated to be 6941 million tonnes. There was an increase of 278 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the year 2004 as reported in ISFR 2011.