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Forest cover increasing but still lower than 33% target: official

The country’s forest policy targeted forest and tree cover for over 33% of the total geographical area, the official said

The forest cover in India is increasing, but is still lower than the targeted 33% of the total geographical area under the country’s forest policy, an official said here on Thursday.

Speaking on the sidelines of a regional training programme for institutionalising capacities on climate change, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Additional Secretary Ravi S. Prasad said as per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019, the total forest and tree cover in the country is 8,07,276 square kilometres, which is 24.56% of the total geographical area.

He said the country’s forest policy targeted forest and tree cover for over 33% of the total geographical area, but added that it was aspirational.

The Forest Survey of India has been assessing the forest and tree resources of the country on a biennial basis since 1987. The results of the assessment are published in the ISFR.

As per ISFR 2017, the total forest and tree cover was at 24.39%, Mr. Prasad added.

The country’s forest cover is consistently on the rise. In 2017, it had registered an increase of 1% or 8,021 square km over 2015, he said.

Under the recent assessment in 2019, the total carbon stock in the country’s forests is estimated to be close to 7,124.6 million tonnes, which is an increase of 42.6 million tonnes as compared to the assessment in 2017, the official added.

Addressing the training programme, Himachal Environment, Science and Technology Director D.C. Rana said, “Climate change is happening due to human activity. If something concrete is not done, temperature will further increase and global warming will further harm our ecosystem.”

Delegates from nine States and three Union Territories from northern India are taking part in the two-day training programme.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 11:14:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/forest-cover-increasing-but-still-lower-than-33-target-official/article30872445.ece

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