On 13th January 2022 Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav released the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021, the biennial report of the Forest Survey of India (FSI) which showed that the forest and tree cover in India has risen by 2,261 square Kilometers (sq km) in 2 years (compared to 2019).
- The total rise of 2,261 square Kilometers (sq km) includes an increase of 1,540 sq km of forest cover and 721 sq km of tree cover compared to the 2019 report.
- Andhra Pradesh has grown the maximum forest cover of 647 sq km.
Major Findings from the Report:
i.India’s total forest and tree cover is now spread across 80.9 million hectares, which is 24.62 percent of India’s geographical area.
- The five states/ Union Territories (UTs) namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 percent forest cover while 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33 percent to 75 percent.
ii.Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km with an increase of 17 sq Km as compared to the previous 2019 report.
iii.The total carbon stock in India’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes with an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of India as compared to the 2019 report including 39.7 million tonnes of annual increase in the carbon stock.
Top 5 States Rankings:
|Rank||Increase in Forest Cover||Forest cover as Percentage of Total Geographical area||Forest cover (Areawise)||Mangrove Cover|
|1||Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km)||Mizoram (84.53 percent)||Madhya Pradesh||Odisha (8 sq km)|
|2||Telangana (632 sq km)||Arunachal Pradesh (79.33 percent)||Arunachal Pradesh||Maharashtra (4 sq km)|
|3||Odisha (537 sq km)||Meghalaya (76 percent)||Chhattisgarh||Karnataka (3 sq km)|
|4||Karnataka (155 sq km)||Manipur (74.34 percent)||Odisha|
|5||Jharkhand (110 sq km)||Nagaland (73.90 percent)||Maharashtra|
iv.NorthEast: As per the report, the north-east did not show positive results due to the decrease of forest cover to the extent of 1,020 sq km.
- Arunachal Pradesh lost the maximum forest cover of 257 sq km, followed by Manipur which lost 249 sq km, Nagaland 235 sq km, Mizoram 186 sq km and Meghalaya 73 sq km.
About ISFR Report:
i.The ISFR report provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, carbon stock in India’s forests, forest fire monitoring above ground estimates of biomass using Synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) data & climate change hotspots in Indian forests.
ii.ISFR 2021, includes a new assessment of change in forest cover within Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India during the period between ISFR 2011 (data period 2008 to 2009) and the current cycle (ISFR 2021, data period 2019-2020).
i.FSI, in collaboration with Space Application Centre (SAC), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Ahmedabad, initiated a special study for estimation of Above Ground Biomass (AGB) at pan-India level, using L- band of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data.
- The results for the States of Assam and Odisha (as well as AGB maps), were presented earlier in ISFR 2019 and the interim results for AGB estimates (and AGB maps) for entire India are being presented as a new chapter in ISFR 2021.
ii.FSI in collaboration with Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, Goa Campus has performed a study based on ‘Mapping of Climate Change Hotspots in Indian Forests’.
Objective – To map the climatic hotspots over the forest cover in India, using computer model-based projection of temperature and rainfall data, for the year 2030, 2050 and 2085.
- The report also includes Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill, tribal districts, and north eastern region.
Recent Related News:
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC) signed a joint communication in New Delhi to give more powers to the Tribal communities in managing the forest resources which is related to the effective implementation of the schedule Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
About Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEFCC):
Union Minister – Bhupender Yadav (Rajya Sabha Rajasthan)
Minister of State (MoS) – Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Buxar, Bihar)