Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

India posts marginal increase in forest cover, says report

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Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: India State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017, FSI

Mains level: Status of forests in India

India State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017

  1. India posted a marginal 0.21% rise in the area under forest between 2015 and 2017, according to the biennial India State of Forest Report (SFR) 2017
  2. Report says that India has forest cover of about 21.53% of the geographic area of the country

Long-standing status and targets

  1. Various editions of the SFR over the years have reported the area under forests as hovering around 21%
  2. Getting India to have at least 33% of its area under forest has been a long-standing goal of the government since 1988

India’s ranking in world 

  1. India is ranked 10th in the world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover, even though it accounts for 2.4% of the world surface area and sustains the needs of 17% of human and 18% livestock population

Fluctuations in forest categories

  1. The category of ‘very dense forest’— defined as a canopy cover over 70% — and an indicator of the quality of a forest saw a dramatic rise
  2. The category of ‘moderately dense forest’ (40%-70%) saw a decline in area from 2015

Major change

  1. Earlier this year, the government ceased to define bamboo as a tree to promote economic activity among tribals


India State of Forest Report

  1. State of Forests Report is published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) on a biennial basis since 1987
  2. Forest Survey of India (FSI), founded in 1976 and headquartered at Dehradun in Uttarakhand, is a Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change organization for conducting forest surveys, studies, and research to periodically monitor the changing situation of land and forest resources
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