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FSI – India’s forest & tree cover increased by 5081 sq km

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Forest Survey of India (FSI) has released the Indian State of Forest Report (ISFR 2015) showing India’s total forest and tree cover has increased by 5081 sq km in the past two years.

  • It was released by Union minister of environment, forests and climate change, Shri Prakash Javadekar.
  • The India State of Forest Report 2015 is the 14th report in the series. It is based on interpretation of LISS III sensor data of indigenous Resourcesat – II satellite.

FSI - India’s forest and tree cover increased by 5081 sq kmKey highlights of Report
The inventory of forests and trees outside forests (TOF) is carried out in 60 randomly selected districts across the country in a period of two years. About 40% forest cover is in nine big patches of 10,000 sq km and more.

  • Forest & Tree cover – Country’s total forest and tree cover is 42 million hectares (ha), which is 24.16% of the total geographical area.
  • Carbon stock in forest – The total carbon stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7,044 million tonnes, which is an increase of 48% over the previous assessments.
  • Forest category – Most of the increase in forest cover had been observed in open forest categorye. outside forest areas followed by Very Dense Forest.
  • Open Forest area – It has increased by 4,744 sq km, which is 14% of the geographical area
  • Very Dense Forest – It has increased by 2,404 sq kms, which is 61% of the geographical area.

State Wise Increase in Forest cover
As per report, 15 States/Union Territories have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover.

  • Maximum increaseTamil Nadu has the maximum increase in forest cover with 2,501 sq km followed by Kerala with 1,317 sq km and Jammu & Kashmir and 450 sq km.
  • Largest forest cover Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77,462 sq km in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh with a forest cover of 67,248 sq km and Chhattisgarh with 55,586 sq km.
  • Highest forest coverMizoram, with 93% of forest cover has the highest forest cover in percentage terms followed by Lakshadweep with 84.56%.

Steps taken by Govt
Government had taken several steps to combat pollution and has held four meetings with Environment Ministers of states of the National Capital Region (NCR) and all concerned agencies of these states.

  • Government was planning to implement Bharat IV norms by 2017, Bharat V norms by 2019 and Bharat VI norms by the year 2021.