Forest Cover Current Affairs - 2020

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FSI: 21.4% of forest cover prone to forest fires

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently released India State of Forest Report, 2019. The report predominantly talks about forest cover in the country. The report also mentions about forest fires in the country.

Highlights of forest fire

According to the report, 21.4% of Indian forests are prone to forest fires. The report has given the figures after a thorough study of fire points identified between 2004 and 2017. The study says that forests in central India and north-eastern India are most vulnerable to forest fires.

The total number of forest fire alerts issued between November 2018 and June 2019 were 29,547. Out of these alerts, Mizoram recorded the highest. Of the alerts received, one-third were from north-eastern states. The major reason for increased number of alerts in north eastern region is slash and burn cultivation (Jhoom Cultivation).

The report also said that the overall forest cover of the country has increased. However, the forest cover in the north east region has declined.

Forest Survey of India

The Forest Survey of India begun in 1981. It is the successor of Pre investment Survey of Forest Resources (PISFR). The PISFR was supported by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). The report is published twice a year.

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Northeast States crowds list of states with most Dense Tree, Forest Cover

According to recent information provided by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to Parliament, Northeast crowds list of states with most dense tree and forest cover in the country. It was based on assessment of forest and tree cover are done by Forest Survey of India (FSI), whose findings are published in India State of Forest Report (ISFR). The last report was published in 2017.

Key Findings of Report

Total forest cover: Quarter of India’s geographical area (24.49 %) is under forest and tree cover.

Lowest forest and tree cover: It is in Haryana, at 6.79 % of its geographical area, followed by Punjab (6.87 %), Rajasthan (7.26%).

Highest forest and tree cover: Union Territory of Lakshadweep has 97% of its geographical area of total 30 square km under forest and tree cover. Among six states with highest forest and tree cover, four are in Northeast India viz. Mizoram (88.84%), Arunachal Pradesh (80.93%), Meghalaya (79.37%) and Manipur (78.68%). Goa and Kerala are two other states which have more than 50 % of their geographical area under forest and tree cover.

Highest forest and tree cover (In terms of area): Madhya Pradesh with total 85,487 sq km has highest tree and forest cover in India in terms of geographical area.

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