Mumbai, February 13: Amid the on-going environmental crisis, India has rightfully managed to sustain the maintenance of tress and forest increase of over 8,000 square kilometer, which is one percent increase from 2015. Pertaining to the forest report released by Dr. HarshVardhan, the graph of environment has seen a growth in spite of the decreasing trend of global forest cover.
India has rightfully managed maintaining by increasing the forest cover displaying the report, which shows Maharashtra to have the highest growth in mangrove cover, of 82 square kilometres, in the last two years in the country.
According to the report, the mangrove covers in the country increased by 181 sq km. Of this, 45% was contributed by Maharashtra. This is the highest recorded in the country. Andhra Pradesh comes a distant second with an increase of 37 sq km.
It is reported that Maharashtra is the only state in the country with a dedicated Mangrove Cell, which came into existence in 2012, and it is also the only state to have constituted all mangroves on government land as reserved forests under section 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Chief of State Mangrove Cell, N Vasudevan informed that Raigad district had recorded the maximum increase of 29 sq km of mangrove cover followed by Thane and Palghar which together registered an increase of 31 sq km, whereas the increase in Mumbai Suburban district was 16 sq km. The mangrove cover in Maharashtra had remained constant at 186 sq km between 2005 and 2013, but increased to 222 sq km in 2013.
Maharashtra has also created a Mangrove Foundation. The increase in mangrove cover is attributed to stricter enforcement of law, increased awareness among the public about the importance of mangroves and the wider knowledge about the legal protection available to mangroves.
Focusing and studying the total forest cover it is seen that 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.