New Delhi: A report by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change reveals current forest cover of the country as per the assessment is 7,13,789 sq km, which is 21.71 percent of the total geographical area of the country. There is an increase of 1540 sq km in the forest cover of the country as compared to the 2019 assesmment.
The top five states in terms of increased forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 square km), Telangana ( 632 square km), Odisha (537 square km) and Jharkhand (110 square km).
According to the report titled, “India State of Forest Report 2021”, 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 (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).
The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectare which is 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country. As compared to the assessment of 2019, there is an increase of 2,261 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 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km.
The present assessment also reveals that 17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover.
Mangrove cover has been separately reported in the ISFR 2021. The total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km. An increase of 17 sq km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019. The top three states showing mangrove cover increase are Odisha (8 sq km) followed by Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).
Under the current assessment, the total carbon stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes and there is an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of country as compared to the last assessment of 2019.