India 10th largest country by forest area: Economic Survey

Newsdesk
By Newsdesk February 1, 2022 09:51

India 10th largest country by forest area: Economic Survey


New Delhi, Feb 1 (IANS) India’s total forest cover was 7,13,789 sq km in 2021, reflecting an increase of 3.14 per cent over 2011 even as it remained as the tenth largest country by forest area in the world, the Economic Survey 2021-22 said.

Forest area refers to the area recorded as forest in government records and is also called “recorded forest area”. Russia, Brazil, Canada, the US, and China were the top five largest countries by forest area in 2020, while India was the tenth largest.

Forests covered 24 per cent of India’s total geographical area accounting for two per cent of the world’s total forest area in 2020. The top 10 countries account for 66 per cent of the world’s forest area. Of these countries, Brazil (59 per cent), Peru (57 per cent), Democratic Republic of Congo (56 per cent), and Russia (50 per cent) have half or more of their total geographical area under forests.

“India has increased its forest area significantly over the past decade. It ranks third globally in average annual net gain in forest area between 2010 to 2020, adding an average 2,66,000 ha of additional forest area every year during the period, or adding approximately 0.38 per cent of the 2010 forest area every year between 2010 to 2020,” said the Economic Survey.

Forest cover comprises all lands, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 10 per cent, irrespective of ownership and legal status. Such lands may not necessarily be a recorded forest area, and also include orchards, bamboo, and palm plantations.

India’s total forest cover was 7,13,789 sq km in 2021, reflecting an increase of 3.14 per cent in the forest cover over 2011, moving from 21.05 per cent of the country’s geographical area in 2011 to 21.71 per cent in 2021. This increase in total forest cover is mainly attributed to increase in very dense forest (all lands with tree canopy density of 70 per cent and above), which rose by 19.54 per cent between 2011 and 2021.

Open forest (all lands with tree canopy density between 10-40 per cent) also improved by 6.71 per cent, while moderately dense forest (all lands with tree canopy density between 40-70 per cent) declined by 4.32 per cent between 2011 and 2021.

Amongst states, Madhya Pradesh (11 per cent of India’s total) had the largest forest cover in India in 2021, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (9 per cent), Chhattisgarh (8 per cent), Odisha (7 per cent), and Maharashtra (7 per cent).

Mizoram (85 per cent), Arunachal Pradesh (79 per cent), Meghalaya (76 per cent), Manipur (74 per cent) and Nagaland (74 per cent) were the top five states in terms of highest per cent of forest cover with respect to total geographical area of the state in 2021.

Arunachal Pradesh accounted for 21 per cent of India’s very dense forest in 2021, followed by Maharashtra (9 per cent), Odisha (7 per cent), Chhattisgarh (7 per cent), and Madhya Pradesh (7 per cent).

Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh accounted for 11 per cent of India’s moderately dense forest in 2021, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (10 per cent), Odisha (7 per cent), and Karnataka (7 per cent).

Madhya Pradesh also accounted for 12 per cent of India’s moderately dense forest in 2021, followed by Odisha (8 per cent), Maharashtra (7 per cent), Chhattisgarh (5 per cent), and Assam (5 per cent), the Survey said.

Newsdesk
By Newsdesk February 1, 2022 09:51