“India Among Top Ten Nations in the World in Terms of Forest Area”: Dr. Harsh Vardhan

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel February 12, 2018 14:14


Strongly emphasising the increasingly green credentials of the country, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr.  Harsh Vardhan has said that India has shown an increasing trend in the forest and tree cover, in comparison to the global trend of decreasing forest cover during the last decade.  Releasing the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 here today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed out that India ranks among the top ten countries of the world in terms of forest area, despite the fact that none of the other 9 countries has a population density of more than 150 persons per sq km, compared to India, which has a population density of 382 persons per sq km.   “India is ranked 10th in the world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover, even though it accounts for 2.4 % of the world surface area and sustains the needs of 17 % of human and 18 % livestock population”, the Minister said.  He averred that despite such tremendous population and pressures of livestock on our forests, India has been able to preserve and expand its forest wealth.  Dr. Harsh Vardhan added that as per the latest FAO report, India is placed 8th in the list of Top Ten nations reporting the greatest annual net gain in forest area.

Quoting figures from the India State of Forest Report 2017, Dr. Harsh Vardhan stated that the latest assessment shows that there is an increase of 8, 021 sq km (about 80.20 million hectare) in the total forest and tree cover of the country, compared to the previous assessment in 2015.  He added that the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 6,778 sq km and that of tree cover as 1, 243 sq km. “The total forest and tree cover is 24.39 per cent of the geographical area of the country”, the Minister pointed out. He also underlined the encouraging sign that much of the increase in the forest cover has been observed in Very Dense Forest (VDF), as VDF absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  “The increase in forest cover in VDF is followed by increase in open forest”, the Minister said.  He also pointed out that the ISFR 2017 has been prepared with the help of scientific tools.

Giving the State-wise break-up, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that three states  – Andhra Pradesh (2141 sq km), followed by Karnataka (1101 sq km) and Kerala (1043 sq km) have shown the maximum increase in forest cover.  “Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77,414 sq km in the country in terms of area, followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 66,964 sq km and Chhattisgarh (55,547 sq km). In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to the total geographical area, Lakshadweep with (90.33 per cent) has the highest forest cover, followed by Mizoram (86.27 per cent) and Andaman & Nicobar Island (81.73 per cent)”, the Minister stated.   Referring to the enormity of the task of preparing the State of Forest  Report, the Minister said, “Work has already started for preparing ISFR 2019”.

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel February 12, 2018 14:14