The total green area (forest and trees) has now reached 8,09,537 square kilometers (24.6% of the geographical area), of which the forest cover is 7,113,789 square kilometers – accounting for 21.7% of the area. accumulate. Overall, forest cover has increased by 1,540 square kilometers (0.2%) while tree cover has increased by 721 square kilometers (0.8%) over the past two years.
Announcing ISFR 2021, Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav emphasized that the government’s priority is not only to focus on increasing/preserving cover quantitatively but also qualitatively enriching, and noted that 17 states / UT has over 33% of the geographical area covered by forest.
Yadav also highlighted India’s commitment to increasing green coverage and reiterated what Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised at the United Nations climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow (UK) last November when he calls on world leaders to focus on LIFE (Environmental Lifestyle) as a common global campaign for a sustainable future.
ISFR 2021 shows that 5 states/UTs – Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya – have more than 75% forest cover while 12 states/UTs – Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha – have forest cover between 33% and 75%.
In general, however, the increase in forest cover was mainly observed in the category of “open forest”, followed by “very dense forest”. Forest cover covers all land per hectare with a canopy density of more than 10%. Soil with canopy density of 70% or more is classified as “very dense forest (VDF)” while soil with canopy density of 10% or more but less than 40% is classified as “open forest (OF)” .
Similarly, land with a canopy density of 40% or more but less than 70% is classified as “moderately dense forest (MDF)”, in fact, reported a decrease of 1,582 square kilometers in 2021 compared to 2019. In addition to the three density classes, shrub areas (forest land with canopy density less than 10%) were also classified and mapped. But shrub areas are not part of the forest cover.
The top three states with increased forest cover are Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km), Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km). In terms of area, Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra. In terms of forest cover to total geographical area, the top five states are Mizoram (84.5%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.3%), Meghalaya (76%), Manipur (74.3%) and Nagaland (73.9%).
The report provides information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock, forest carbon stock of India, forest fire monitoring, surface estimates, etc. Biomass soils using satellite data and climate change hotspots in forests in India. Forest area and tree cover are obtained from comprehensive mapping of the country’s forest cover using remote sensing techniques, plot-based national forest surveys and special studies carried out at the national level.
The Forest Survey of India, which prepared the report, stated that the interpretation of the satellite data was followed by close processing on the ground. “Information from other collateral sources is also used to improve the accuracy of the image being interpreted. The level of accuracy achieved in the current assessment is remarkably high,” the environment ministry said. .
It assumes that the accuracy of the forest cover classification has been assessed to be 92.9%. The accuracy of the classification between forest and non-forest types has been assessed to be 95.8% compared with the classification accuracy of more than 85% which is internationally accepted, the ministry said.
The biennial report also includes, for the first time, a special chapter on forest cover assessment in tiger reserves, tiger corridor areas, lion sanctuaries and in seven major cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata. It is found that Delhi has the largest forest cover, followed by Mumbai and Bengaluru.
The latest assessment also shows that the total area of mangroves in the country increased by 17 square kilometers (4,992 square kilometers in 2021) compared to the previous assessment. The top three states showing an increase in mangrove cover are Odisha (8 sq km), Maharashtra (4 sq km) and Karnataka (3 sq km).