- The forest cover in the country increased by 3,976 square kilometres (sqkm) but with the sharpest declines in the northeastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, according to the 2019 edition of the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) that was made public
- At 712,249 sqkm, the forest cover constituted 21.67% of the nation’s geographical area or 0.12% more than last year.
- The ISFR, a biennial exercise, assesses the forest and tree cover, bamboo resources, carbon stock and forest fires. The top three States showing an increase in forest cover are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
- Tree cover, defined as patches of trees less than 1 hectare and occurring outside the recorded forest area, grew by 1, 212 sqkm. Tree and forest cover together made up 25.56% of India’s area. In the last assessment it was 24.39%.
In terms of the canopy density of the trees comprising forest patches—is wavering. While 1,755 sqkm of ‘moderately dense forest’ (MDF) became ‘Very dense forest (VDF), 2782 sqkm of MDF regressed into lower quality ‘open forest (OF),’ Scrub forest’ or ‘Non forest.’