New Delhi: Union Forest, Environment and Climate Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday released 'India State of Forest Report'- 2019, and said that 'India is on track to achieve its target of 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent'.
The report, an assessment of country's forest resources undertakes by the Forest Survey of India every two years, said the there is an increase of 3,976 sq km (0.56 per cent) of forest cover, 1,212 sq km (1.29 per cent) of tree cover and 5,188 sq km (0.65 per cent) of forest and tree cover put together, at the national level as compared to the previous assessment, in 2017.
"The results is very encouraging. We shows that India is one of the leading country, which has ensured forest cover growth and tree cover growth outside the forest also. India is on track to achieve its target of 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon equivalent and we are moving ahead with people's participation with states cooperation and the everybody's participation, especially Tribals and forest dwellers, they are also main stakeholders in our forest growth story", Mr Javadekar said.
"There is an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment of 2017. The annual increase is 21.3 million tonnes, which is 78.1 million tonnesCO2 equivalent", the report said. In the present assessment, total carbon stock in forest is estimated as 7,124.6 million tonnes.
The Minister has also said that the government is going to revise many rules to target the forest growth happens very naturally, "the way we have done with the bamboo and which has resulted in two years, the bamboo growth is phenomenal".
According to the report, there is an increase of 3,229 sq km in bamboo bearing area as compared to the estimate of 2017. Total bamboo bearing area of the country is estimated as 1,60,037 sq km.
While the total forest cover of the country is 7,12,249 sq km which is 21.67 per cent of the geographical area of the country, the tree cover of the country is estimated as 95,027 sq km which is 2.89 per cent.
The top five states in terms of increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq km), Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km), Kerala (823 sq km), Jammu and Kashmir (371 sq km) and Himachal Pradesh (334 sq km), the report said.
The report also said that the there is an increase of 544 sq km of forest cover in hill districts of the country. However, a decrease of 741 sq km of forest cover within the Recorded Forest Area (RFA) in the tribal districts and an increase of 1,922 sq km outside.
The total forest cover in the tribal districts is 4,22,351 sq km, which is 37.54 per cent of the geographical area of these districts.
Similarly, there is a decrease of forest cover to the extend of 765 sq km (0.45 per cent in North Eastern region, which has 1,70,541 sq km (65.05 per cent) forest cover of its geographical area.
"Except Assam and Tripura, all the states in the region show decrease in forest cover", the report said.Mangrove cover in the country has increased by 54 sq km (1.10 per cent) as compared to the previous assessment, the report stated.(UNI)