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India ranked 3rd in gaining forest area in world; global employment in forestry led by India: FAO

India among top 10 countries gaining forest area in the worldIn accordance with the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2020 brought out by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), India has ranked 3rd  among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas during 2010-2020. FRA 2020 examined the status of, and trends in, more than 60 forest-related variables in 236 countries and territories in the period 1990–2020.

  • India reported 0.38% annual gain in forest, or 266,000 ha of forest increase every year at an average. It’s naturally regenerating forest rate was also 0.38% in 2010-20.
  • As per the report, the world has a total forest area of 4.06 billion hectares (ha) in 2020, which is 31% of the total land area where India accounts for 2% of total global forest area. Russia has a maximum forest area accounting 20% of global forest area (815 312 ha) followed by Brazil (496 620 ha-12%) & Canada (346 928 ha- 9%).

Top ten countries for average annual net gain in forest area, 2010–2020

Rank Country
3 India
1 China
2 Australia
4 Chile
5 Viet Nam
6 Turkey
7 United States of America
8 France
9 Italy
10  Romania

Findings with respect to India:

-The FRA 2020 has credited the government’s Joint Forest Management programme for the significant increase in community-managed forest areas in the Asian continent. India has been taking up massive afforestation and plantation schemes.

-The forest area managed by local, tribal and indigenous communities in India increased from zero in 1990 to about 25 million ha in 2015.

India’s employment in forestry sector is maximum in world

The assessment examined employment in the forestry sector (including logging) with data from 136 countries that represent 91% of the world’s forests where India reported the maximum employment in the forestry sector in the world.

  • Globally, 12.5 million people were employed in the forestry sector. Out of this, India accounted for 6.23 million, or nearly 50%.

Key Points:

-The world has lost 178 million ha of forest since 1990, which is an area about the size of Libya. Africa had the largest annual rate of net forest loss in 2010–2020, at 3.9 million ha.

–The South Asia sub-region reported net forest losses during 1990-2020.

-The Asian continent reported the highest net gain in forest area in 2010-2020 as it recorded 17 million hectares (ha) per year net increase in forests.

About Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Director-General (DG)– Qu Dongyu
Headquarter– Rome, Italy

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