Related Topic in KAS Prelims Syllabus:
Science and Techology [Paper-II]: Forest and wildlife – Legal framework for Forest and Wildlife Conservation in India
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change released the ‘India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019’ in New Delhi.
- India State of Forest Report (ISFR) is a biennial publication of Forest Survey of India (FSI), an organization under the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change Government of India
- Starting 1987, 16 assessments have been completed so far. ISFR 2019 is the 16th report in the series.
- The report provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock inside and outside the forest areas, carbon stock in India’s forests, Forest Types and Biodiversity, Forest Fire monitoring and forest cover in different slopes & altitudes.
- Special thematic information on forest cover such as hill, tribal districts, and north eastern region has also been given separately in the report.
- FSI, in a first ever attempt has carried out a rapid assessment of biodiversity for all the States and UTs (except two) and for all the sixteen Forest Type Groups as per Champion & Seth Classification (1968).
- Apart from the number of tree, shrub and herb species as observed in the survey, Shanon Wienner Index which gives species richness along with the relative abundance, has also been calculated for each forest type groups in each State & UT.
- Total forest cover of the country is 712,249 square kilometres which is 21.67 percent of the geographical area of the country.
- 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.
- There has been an increase in forest cover in Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh in the last two years.
- 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%).
- Under the current assessment the total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated 7,124.6 million tonnes and there is 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.
- Total forest cover in the North Eastern region is 1,70,541 sq km, which is 65.05% of its geographical area.
- There has been a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 765 sq km (0.45%) in the North Eastern region. Except Assam and Tripura, all the States in the region show decrease in forest cover.
- 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 Recorded Forest Area/ Green Wash (RFA/GW) of the country.
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.
- 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).