Ministry of Environment and Forests has released the India State of Forest Report for 2017, which reveals the country’s total forest cover has risen by 8,021 sq km, growing 1% since 2015. Further, The 2017 report showed that 15 states have forest cover of more than 33% of their geographical area (higher than stipulated).
The states that got the top five ranks in terms of forest area are: Andhra Pradesh (2,141 sq km), Karnataka (1,101 sq km), Kerala (1,043 sq km), Odisha (885 sq km), and Telangana (565 sq km).
In contrast, Lakshadweep (90.33%) had the highest percentage of forest cover out of its total geographical area, followed by Mizoram (86.27%) and Andaman & Nicobar Islands (81.73%).
The India State of Forest Report 2017 is a biennial publication of the Forest Survey of India, an organization under the Ministry of Environment & Forests. The Forest Survey of India has been accessing the forest cover and tree count in the country since 1987. This year’s report revealed the total forest and trees cover in India has increased of over 8,021 sq km or about 80.20 million hectare, which is 0.94% increase over 2015. This year, the total forest cover stood at 24.39% of geographical area of the country, which puts it at the 10th position in the world.
For the first time, the 2017 forest report included the information of water bodies inside forests, which have increased by 2,647 sq km during the last decades, with almost all Indian states showing a positive change in it as well.
Source: Forest Survey of India