India's forest cover up 5,188 sq km in 1 year, says Union Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar

Karnataka, Kashmir, and Assam are the states where the forest areas have increased while the North-Eastern states have observed a decrease in the forest land area. There is a significant increase in the number of mango and pomegranate trees. Other than this hilly and tribal areas are the main contributors to the increase of forest land in the country. Around 1141 kilometres of tribal land area has developed into the forest. 

India's forest cover up 5,188 sq km in 1 year, says Union Minister of Environment Prakash Javadekar
Image Courtesy: Twitter/@PrakashJavedkar

New Delhi: Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar released the 'India State of Forest Report 2019' on Monday which indicated that the forest area in India has increased up to 5000 square kilometers. The report said that only a few countries around the globe have observed an increase in the forest area and India is one among them. 

The top three states showing increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq km) followed by Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km) and Kerala (823 sq km) while the North-Eastern states have observed a decrease in the forest land area.

There is a significant increase in the number of mango and pomegranate trees. Other than this hilly and tribal areas are the main contributors to the increase of forest land in the country. Around 1141 kilometres of tribal land area has developed into the forest. 

According to the report shared by the Forest Ministry, the region of Assam has also observed an increase in forest area, on the other hand, in Sikkim and Nagaland the areas have decreased. With the increase in forest land, the carbon stock of the country has also increased, said the 'India State of Forest Report'. 

Here's the list of the statewide division of forest area. 

During the launch of the report, Javadekar said, ''India is trying to abide by its target and this report clearly indicates that we are moving towards a right direction.'' Javedkar further informed that the incidents of forest fire has also decreased by 20 percent in the country. 

Javedkar said that there is an increase in both dense and open forest in the country which is a good indication. 

Remembering the contribution of Vishone Samaj, Javadekar said, ''To save forest more than 300 Vishnoe Samaj sacrificed their life.'' He added, '' Narendra Modi's government is working towards developing forest and everyone should contribute towards it. '' 

Director-General Forest & Special Secretary Siddhanta Das said, ''With 2.5% of total land surface supporting 16% of human and 18% of cattle population of the world, it is not a small achievement that the country has been able to maintain a balance between conservation and development. In the current cycle, there has been an increase of over 5000 sq km of forest and tree cover as compared to the previous assessment. The impact of sustained conservation efforts over the years, agro-forestry practices, fodder improvement and renewable energy programmes have contributed in maintaining, a positive trend of forest cover.''

The 'India State of Forest Report 2019' is divided into ten chapters and gives a detailed analysis of the forests in India.