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India State of Forest Report 2021

2022 JAN 12

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Miscellaneous   >   Reports and indices

Why in news?

  • The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) released the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021.

India State of Forest Report (ISFR):

  • India State of Forest Report (ISFR) is a biennial publication of Forest Survey of India (FSI) an organization under the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change.
  • The first survey was published in 1987.
  • The ‘Forest Cover’ as reported in ISFR includes all patches of land with a tree canopy density of more than 10% and with area having more than 1 hectare, irrespective of land use, ownership and species of tree.
  • ‘Tree Cover’ includes all patches of trees less than 1 hectare
  • Three categories of forests are surveyed:
    • Very dense forests (canopy density over 70%)
    • Moderately dense forests (40-70%)
    • Open forests (10-40%).
  • Scrubs (canopy density less than 10%) are also surveyed but not categorised as forests

Key findings of ISFR 2021:

  • The total forest and tree cover in India is 80.9 million hectares, which accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country.
  • Forest and tree cover in the country had increased by 2,261 square kilometres since the last assessment in 2019.
  • 17 States and Union Territories had more than 33% of their area under forest cover.
  • Region wise:
    • Forest Cover in hill districts of India accounts for 40% of their Geographical area, and that of North Eastern region is 64%
    • Northeast states account for 7.98% of total geographical area but 23.75% of total forest cover.
    • In 2021 >> The forest cover in the North Eastern region has shown an overall decline of 1,020 sq km in forest cover.
  • State wise:
    • Madhya Pradesh had the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
    • The top five States in terms of forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area were: Mizoram (84.53%), Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%), Meghalaya (76.00%), Manipur (74.34%) and Nagaland (73.90%).

Forest Area v/s Forest Cover

The term 'forest area' denotes the legal status of the land as per the government records, whereas the term 'forest cover' indicates presence of trees over any land.

    • Maximum increase in forest cover witnessed in Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km) followed by Telangana (632 sq km) and Odisha (537 sq km).
  • Carbon stock in forests
    • Total carbon stock in country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes in 2021, an increase of 79.4 million from 2019.
  • Mangrove cover
    • Total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km, an increase of 17 sq Km observed.
  • Forest Prone to Fires:
    • 35.46% of the forest cover is prone to forest fires.

Add ons:

  • It has for the first time assessed forest cover in tiger reserves, tiger corridors and the Gir forest which houses the Asiatic lion. Forest cover has increased in 20 tiger reserves in these 10 years, and decreased in 32.



Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021?

1. Mizoram has the largest forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area

2. The total forest and tree cover in India accounts for 33% of the geographical area of the country.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2