New Delhi: Strongly emphasising the increasingly green credentials of the country, Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Harsh Vardhan has said that India has shown an increasing trend in the forest and tree cover, in comparison to the global trend of decreasing forest cover during the last decade.
Releasing the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2017 here today, Harsh Vardhan pointed out that India ranks among the top ten countries of the world in terms of forest area, despite the fact that none of the other 9 countries has a population density of more than 150 persons per sq km, compared to India, which has a population density of 382 persons per sq km.
“India is ranked 10th in the world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover, even though it accounts for 2.4 % of the world surface area and sustains the needs of 17 % of human and 18 % livestock population”, the Minister said.
Quoting figures from the India State of Forest Report 2017, Harsh Vardhan stated that the latest assessment shows that there is an increase of 8, 021 sq km (about 80.20 million hectares) in the total forest and tree cover of the country, compared to the previous assessment in 2015. He added that the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 6,778 sq km and that of tree cover as 1, 243 sq km.
The present assessment also reveals that 15 states/UT’s have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover.