The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Prakash Javadekar informed that India is among few countries in the world where forest cover is consistently increasing. In the present assessment, the 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. He further said that as compared to the assessment of 2017, there is an increase of 5,188 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 3,976 sq km and that in tree cover is 1,212 sq. km; Range increase in forest cover has been observed in open forest followed by very dense forest and moderately dense forest and 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).”, said the Minister.
Some major findings 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 a 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%).
The total growing stock of India’s forest and TOF is estimated 5,915.76 million cum of which 4,273.47 million cum is inside the forests and 1,642.29 million cum outside. There is an increase of 93.38 million cum of total growing stock, as compared to the previous assessment. Out of this the increase in growing stock, there is an increase of 55.08 million cum inside the forests and 38.30 million cum outside the forest areas.