State of forest report 2021
- January 14, 2022
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
State of forest report 2021
The biennial India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 has been released.
What is the India State of Forest Report?
- It is an assessment of India’s forest and tree cover, published every two years by the Forest Survey of India under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
- The first survey was published in 1987, and ISFR 2021 is the 17th.
- India is one of the few countries in the world that brings out such every two years, and this is widely considered comprehensive and robust. With data computed through wall-to-wall mapping of India’s forest
- cover through remote sensing techniques, the ISFR is used in planning and formulation of policies in forest management as well as forestry and agroforestry sectors.
Forest Survey of India:
- FSI is a national organization responsible for the assessment and monitoring of the forest resources of India regularly.
- It functions under the Ministry of Environment and Forests and climate change.
- It is headquartered in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
- It was founded in 1981.
- FSI is one of the major national survey organizations in India.
- The organization’s precursor was the ‘Pre-investment Survey of Forest Resources’ (PISFR), a project started in 1965 with aid from UNDP and FAO.
Findings of the report:
The India State of Forest Report has found the country’s forest cover has increased by 1,540 sq km since2019.
ISFR 2021 has found that the forest and tree cover in the country continues to increase with an additional cover of 1,540square kilometers over the past two years.
- India’s forest cover is now 7,13,789 squarekilometres,21.71%of the country’s geographical area, an increase from 21.67% in 2019. Tree cover has increased by 721 sq km.
- The states that have shown the highest increase in forest cover are Telangana (3.07%), Andhra Pradesh (2.22%) and Odisha (1.04%).
- Five states in the Northeast–Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland have all shown loss in forest cover.
- Mangroves have shown an increase of 17sqkm. India’s total mangrove cover is now 4,992 sq km.
- The survey has found that 35.46 % of the forest cover is prone to forest fires. Out of this, 2.81 % is extremely prone, 7.85% is very highly prone and 11.51 % is highly prone
- The total carbon stock in country’s forests is estimated at 7,204 million tons, an increase of 79.4milliontonssince2019.
- Bamboo forests have grown from 13,882 million culms (stems) in 2019 to 53,336 million culms in 2021.
- While ISFR 2021 has shown an increasing trend in forest cover overall, the trend is not uniform across all kinds of forests.
- Three categories of forests are surveyed – very dense forests (canopy density over 70%), moderately dense forests (40-70%) and open forests (10-40%).
- Scrubs (canopy density less than 10%) are also surveyed but not categorized as forests.
- Very dense forests have increased by501 sq km. This is a healthy sign but pertains to forests that are protected and reserve forests with active conservation activities.
- The north-east did not show positive results as the current assessment showed a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 1,020 sq km in the region.
- Arunachal Pradesh lost the maximum forest cover of 257 sq km, followed by Manipur which lost 249 sq km, Nagaland 235 sq km, Mizoram 186 sq km and Meghalaya 73 sq km.
- In total 140 hill districts of the country, the forest cover reduced by 902 sq km in the last two years. In the 2019 report, the forest cover in the hill regions had increased by 544 sq km.
New features in ISFR:
- In the present ISFR 2021, FSI has included a new chapter related to the assessment of forest cover in the Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India.
- In this context, the decadal assessment of change in forest cover within Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area helps in assessing the impact of conservation measures and management interventions that have been implemented over the years.
- For the first time assessed forest cover in tiger reserves, tiger corridors and the Gir forest which houses the Asiatic lion.
- The forest cover in tiger corridors has increased by 37.15 sq km (0.32%) between 2011-2021, but decreased by 22.6 sq km (0.04%) in tiger reserves. Forest cover has increased in 20 tiger reserves in these 10 years, and decreased in 32.
- Buxa, Anamalai and Indravati reserves have shown an increase in forest cover while the highest losses have been found in Kawal, Bhadra and the Sunderbans reserves.
- Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh has the highest forest cover, at nearly 97%.
What impact has climate change had?
- The report estimates that by 2030, 45-64% of forests in India will experience the effects of climate change and rising temperatures, and forests in all states (except Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland) will be highly vulnerable climate hot spots.
- Ladakh (forestcover0.1-0.2%) is likely to be the most affected. India’s forests are already showing shifting trends of vegetation types, such as Sikkim which has shown a shift in its vegetation pattern for 124 endemic species.
- In 2019-20, 1.2 lakh forest fire hotspots were detected by the SNPP_VIIRS sensor, which increased to 3.4 lakh in 2020-21. The highest numbers of fires were detected in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
Slight reduction in capital’s forest cover in two years, shows report:
- Forest cover in Delhi has reduced by 0.44 sq km between 2019 (195.44 sq km) and 2021 (195 sq km).
- Very dense forest’ (land with tree canopy density of 70% and above) has remained the same at 6.72 sq km.
- The extent of ‘moderately dense forest’ (land with tree canopy density of 40%and more, but less than 70%) has increased from 56.42 sq km in 2019 to 56.60 sq km, while open forest land (tree canopy density of 10%and more, but less than 40%) has reduced from 132.30 sq km in 2019 to 131.68 sq km in 2021.
- Meanwhile, the extent of ‘trees outside forests’ in Delhi is 283 sq km, higher than that in 2019 (265 sq km). As per the report, this will include trees along linear features such as roads, canals, bunds, and scattered trees.
- There has been an increase in terms of ‘tree cover’, which refers to isolated tree sand small patches of trees that are less than 1 hectare in area and found outside recorded forest areas. The ‘tree cover’ has increased from 129 sq km in 2019 to 147 sq km.