From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Highlights of the report
Mains level : State of forest conservation and afforestation in India
The Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released the biennial India State of Forest Report (ISFR).
About the Report
- The ISFR is a biennial report published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI).
- FSI has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country including wall-to-wall forest cover mapping in a biennial cycle.
- Starting 1987, 16 assessments have been completed so far. ISFR 2019 is the 16th report in the series.
Highlights of the report
- In the present assessment, the total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.73 million hectare which is 24.56 percent of the geographical area of the country.
- As compared to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the total forest and tree cover of the country.
- Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 3,976 sq km and that in tree cover is 1,212 sq. km.
- Range increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest and moderately dense forest.
- The top three states showing increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq. km) followed by Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km) and Kerala (823 sq km).
Some Major Findings
- Area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
- In terms of forest cover as percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are Mizoram (85.41%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.63%), Meghalaya (76.33%), Manipur (75.46%) and Nagaland (75.31%).
- Mangrove cover has been separately reported in the ISFR 2019 and the total mangrove cover in the country is 4,975 sq km.
- An increase of 54 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2017.
- Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Gujarat (37 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (16 sq km) and Odisha (8 sq km).
- The extent of bamboo bearing area of the country has been estimated 16.00 million hectare.
- There is an increase of 0.32 million hectare in bamboo bearing area as compared to the last assessment of ISFR 2017.
- Wetlands within forest areas form important ecosystems and add richness to the biodiversity in forest areas, both of faunal and floral species.
- Due to importance of wetlands, FSI has carried out an exercise at the national level to identify wetlands of more than 1 ha within RFA.
- There are 62,466 wetlands covering 3.8% of the area within the RFA/GW of the country.
- Under the current assessment the total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated 7,124.6 million tonnes.
- There an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2017.
- The annual increase in the carbon stock is 21.3 million tonnes, which is 78.2 million tonnes CO2 eq.