India has grabbed the 10th position in the world in terms of Forest Cover, says ISFR Report 2017

It is much easier to create a desert than a forest .Forests are the AC system of the World and the lungs of Planet. But with its efforts, India has grabbed 10th position in the world in terms of forest area and 8th in terms of annual forest gain, according to India State Forest Report 2017 released on Monday by the Environment Ministry. ISFR 2017 has been prepared with the help of scientific tools. A total of 8,021 sq km of forest and trees cover has been added to India in past two years, which is a 1% incremental in 2017 from 2015. Wherein India accounts for total forest cover of 7,08,273 sq km (21.54% of the country’s geographical area), and the total tree cover of 93,815 sq km (2.85%). Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan pointed out the three states Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala contributed the maximum increase in forest cover. Madhya Pradesh stands with largest forest cover (77,414 sq km) in the country, followed by Arunachal Pradesh with (66,964 sq km) and Chhattisgarh (55,547 sq km). Seven States/UTs namely Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur have more than 75 per cent forest cover. However, Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura and Meghalaya have their forest cover decreased in 2017 as compared to 2015. The forest cover is divided into 3 categories i.e. very dense, moderately dense and open forest. The very dense forest has increased over the last years but there is a decline in moderately dense forests and an increment in Open forests to which environmentalists consider quite worrying. The Very dense forest absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Secretary, MoEF&CC, Shri C.K Mishra underlined that the value of forests is more for the people living in and around forests. According to Harsh Vardhan, the increase in India's forest cover is due to its commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and various programmes being carried on in India such as ECOMARK, National River Conservation Plan, National National Action Programme to Combat Desertification etc.

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