Forest Cover Current Affairs - 2020

Global Forest Resources Assessment of FAO: India ranks third in raise in forest cover

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently released Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) report. According to the report, India ranked third among top 10 countries where forest cover has increased in the last decade.


The Food and Agriculture Organization bring out the report once in every five years. The report assesses state of forests in the member countries, their conditions and management.

According to the report, the following 10 countries have gained forest area between 2010 and 2020

  • China
  • Australia
  • India
  • Chile
  • Vietnam
  • Turkey
  • United States
  • France
  • Italy
  • Romania

The FRA says that India accounts to 2% of total global forest area. During the decade, India accounted to 0.38% of annual gain in forest cover. This is around 266,000 hectares of forest cover every year. The forest area managed by local, indigenous communities and tribal in India increased from zero in 1990 to about 25 million hectares in 2015. The naturally regenerating forest rate in India was disappointing.


Globally, there are 12.5 million people employed in forestry sector. Out of this, India accounts to 6.23 million. This is almost 50% of the world forestry employment. India accounted to maximum employment in the forest sector.

The Asian continent, according to the report, had the highest gain in forest area between 2010 and 2020.

Deforestation of Amazon Forest: Highest in 5 years

On June 12, 2020, the National Institute of Space Research (INPE) announced that the increase in deforestation of Amazon forests has been the highest in 2019 as compared to last 5 years.


The research institute has found that the deforestation has increased by 91 square kilo metre in 2019 as compared to 2018. In 2019, around 829 square kilo metres of forest has been deforested.

Key Findings

The research institute also noted the witness of Brazilian Government on deforestation. According to Brazilian Government, amazon rainforest faced deforestation record of 829 square kilometre in May, 2020. This is the highest monthly level deforestation since 2015.

Also, the Real Time Deforestation Detection System has alerted the authorities about the increase in rate of destruction of tropical rainforest in the region.

If the deforestation pace continues, in 2020, the deforestation could reach 11,900 square kilometres.

Why the increase?

Deforestation in the region has increased after President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 according to conservation groups and environmental activists. According to Bolsonaro, mining and farming in the protected areas of Amazon forest were the only ways to lift the region out of poverty. His environmental policies have been widely condemned all over the world.

Also, the destruction of the forest by illegal ranchers and loggers increased by 55% between January 2020 and April 2020.