From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : GFRA
Mains level : Forest conservation in India
India has ranked third among the top 10 countries that have gained in forest areas in the last decade a/c to the latest Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA).
Possible prelim question:
Q.The Global Forest Resources Assessment Report recently seen in news is published by-
b) UN Forum on Forests
c) International Union of Forest Research Organizations
d) None of these
India gains in forest cover
- The top 10 countries that have recorded the maximum average annual net gains in a forest area during 2010-2020 are China, Australia, India, Chile, Vietnam, Turkey, the US, France, Italy and Romania.
- India accounts for two per cent of total global forest area.
- Globally, 12.5 million people were employed in the forestry sector. Out of this, India accounted for 6.23 million, or nearly 50 per cent.
- The Asian continent reported the highest net gain in a forest area in 2010-2020, according to the report.
- It recorded a 1.17 million hectares (ha) per year net increase in forests in the last decade.
- However, the South Asia sub-region reported net forest losses during 1990-2020.
- But, this decline would have been much higher without the net gain in India’s forest during this period, according to FRA 2020.
How did India gain?
- 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.
- The forest area managed by local, tribal and indigenous communities in India increased from zero in 1990 to about 25 million ha in 2015, the assessment said.
- India has been taking up massive afforestation and plantation schemes.
About Global Forest Resources Assessment
- The Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) reports on the status and trends of the world’s forest resources.
- It is led by the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.
- It reports the extent of the world’s forest area as well as other variables, including land tenure and access rights, sustainable forest management (SFM), forest conservation, and sustainable use.
Back2Basics: Defining forests as per FRA
- The definition excludes tree stands in agricultural production systems, such as fruit tree plantations, oil palm plantations, olive orchards, and agroforestry systems when crops are grown under tree cover.
The FAO definition of a forest includes:
- land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 per cent, or trees able to reach these thresholds in situ
- does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban land use