Union Environment Minister, Bhupender Yadav has launched the 17th edition of the biennial ‘India State of Forest Report (ISFR)’ 2021. ISFR is released by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), every two years since 1987 to assess the country’s forest resources. India’s forest and tree cover rose by 2,261 square kilometres in ISFR 2021 as compared to the assessment of 2019. This includes an increase of 1,540 square kilometres in forest cover and a 721 sq km increase in tree cover.
key findings of the ISFR 2021:
- The forest and tree cover in India is now 8,09,537 sq km. Total forest cover is 7,13,789 sq km, (21.71 per cent of the geographical area) and tree cover is 95,748 sq km (2.91 per cent of the geographical area).
- The total forest and tree cover in the country is now spread across 80.9 million hectares or 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.
- The top five states in terms of increase in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km), Telangana (632 sq km), Odisha (537 sq km), Karnataka (155 sq km) and Jharkhand (110 sq km).
- Area-wise, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
- The top five states in terms of forest cover as a percentage of total geographical area are Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).
- The mangrove cover in the country recorded an increase of 17 sq km as compared to the assessment of 2019. Total mangrove cover in the country now covers 4,992 sq km.
- Top three States in terms of increase in mangrove cover are Odisha (8 sq km), Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km) respectively.
- The total carbon stock in forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes.
- This includes an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country in 2021 as compared to 2019.