‘Greenway’ of India: Forest and tree cover of the country increases by 8,021 sq km
 Source : NewsBharati  Date : 12-Feb-2018

New Delhi, February 12: Amid a worldwide environmental crisis, it is definitely a good indication that total forest and tree cover in the country has seen an increase of over 8,000 square kilometer, which is one percent increase from 2015. Despite the decreasing trend of global forest cover, India registers an increase in forest cover.

Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday released the India State of Forest Report 2017. The report says about the increase in India’s forest cover. India ranks among the top ten countries of the world in terms of forest area, despite the fact that none of the other 9 countries has a population density of more than 150 persons per sq km, compared to India.

Andhra Pradesh (2141 sq km), followed by Karnataka (1101 sq km) and Kerala (1043 sq km) have shown the maximum increase in forest cover owing to successful agroforestry practices, increase in mangrove cover, better conservation and protection practices.

15 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these States and Union Territories, seven States/UTs namely Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur have more than 75 percent forest cover, while 8 states - Tripura, Goa, Sikkim, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chhattisgarh and Assam have forest cover between 33 percent to 75 percent

The total mangrove cover stands at 4,921 sq km and has shown an increase of 181 sq km. All the 12 mangrove states have shown a positive change in the mangrove cover, as compared to the last assessment. Mangrove ecosystem is rich in biodiversity and provides a number of ecological services.

There is an increase of 19 million tonnes in the bamboo-growing stock as compared to the last assessment done in 2011. The total annual potential production of the timer from trees outside forest has been estimated at 74.51 million cum.