India State of Forest Report (ISFR) is prepared by the Forest Survey of India (Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change) about the forest resources of India.
The release of the biennial India State of Forest Report (ISFR) published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI) is one of the most awaited events in India.
ISFR 2019 is the 16th biennial assessment report of FSI.
ISFR 2017 vs ISFR 2019
There has been an increase of over 5000 sq km of forest and tree cover as compared to the previous assessment.
India State of Forest Report 2019: Understand the Key Terms
Watch this video to understand the key terms used in the India State of Forest Report like Forest Area, Forest Cover, Tree Cover, Trees Outside Forests etc.
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India State of Forest Report 2019: Key Findings
The key findings of the ISFR 2019 are as follows:
Forest Cover of India is 21.67%
The total forest cover of the country is 7,12,249 sq km which is 21.67% of the geographical area of the country.
Tree Cover of India is 2.89%
The tree cover of the country is estimated as 95,027 sq km which is 2.89% of the geographical area.
Forest Cover + Tree Cover is 24.56%
The total Forest and Tree Cover of the country is 8,07,276 sq km which is 24.56% of the geographical area of the country.
There is an increase in forest and tree cover
The current assessment shows an increase of 3,976 sq km (0.56%) of forest cover, 1,212 sq km (1.29%) of tree cover and 5,188 sq km (0.65%) of forest and tree cover put together, at the national level as compared to the previous assessment i.e. ISFR 2017.
There is a decrease in forest cover in Recorded Forest Areas (RFA)
Forest cover within the RFA/GW has shown a slight decrease of 330 sq km (0.05%) whereas there is an increase of 4,306 sq km of forest cover outside the RFA/GW as compared to the previous assessment of 2017.
The highest increase in forest cover is in Karnataka
The top five states in terms of increase in forest cover are Karnataka (1,025 sq km), Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km), Kerala (823 sq km), Jammu & Kashmir (371 sq km) and Himachal Pradesh (334 sq km).
In hill districts, the forest cover is 40.30%
Forest cover in the hill districts of the country is 2,84,006 sq km, which is 40.30% of the total geographical area of these districts. The current assessment shows an increase of 544 sq km (0.19%) in 140 hill districts of the country.
In tribal districts, the forest cover is 37.54%
The total forest cover in the tribal districts is 4,22,351 sq km, which is 37.54% of the geographical area of these districts. The current assessment shows a decrease of 741 sq km of forest cover within the RFA/GW in the tribal districts and an increase of 1,922 sq km outside.
In the North-Eastern region, the forest cover is 65.05%
Total forest cover in the North-Eastern region is 1,70,541 sq km, which is 65.05% of its geographical area. The current assessment shows a decrease of forest cover to the extent of 765 sq km (0.45%) in the region. Except for Assam and Tripura, all the States in the region show a decrease in forest cover.
Mangrove cover shows an increase of 1.10%
Mangrove cover in the country has increased by 54 sq km (1.10%) as compared to the previous assessment.
The total growing stock of wood is 5915 million cum
The total growing stock of wood in the country is estimated 5,915.76 million cum comprising 4,273.47 million cum inside forest areas and 1,642.29 million cum outside recorded forest areas (TOF). The average growing stock per hectare in the forest has been estimated as 55.69 cum.
There is an increase in the bamboo bearing area
The total bamboo bearing area of the country is estimated as 1,60,037 sq km. There is an increase of 3,229 sq km in the bamboo bearing area as compared to the estimate of ISFR 2017.
The total Carbon Stock in the forest is 7124.6 million tonnes
In the present assessment, the total carbon stock in the forest is estimated as 7,124.6 million tonnes. There is an increase of 42.6 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment of 2017. The annual increase is 21.3 million tonnes, which is 78.1 million tonnes CO2 eq.
Soil Organic Carbon contributes 56% of the total forest carbon stock
Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) represents the largest pool of carbon stock in forests, which has been estimated at 4,004 million tonnes. The SOC contributes 56% to the total forest carbon stock of the country.
Wetlands cover 3.83% of Recorded Forest Area
There are 62,466 wetlands covering 3.83% of the area within the RFA/GW of the country. The total number of wetlands located within the RFA/GW is 8.13%. Amongst the States, Gujarat has the largest area of wetlands within RFA in the country followed by West Bengal.
Highest dependence on forests for fuelwood is in Maharashtra
Dependence of fuelwood on forests is highest in the State of Maharashtra, whereas, for fodder, small timber and bamboo, dependence is highest in Madhya Pradesh. It has been assessed that the annual removal of the small timber by the people living in forest fringe villages is nearly 7% of the average annual yield of forests in the country.
Major Invasive Species
The information on the area affected by five major invasive species in States/UTs based on analysis of NFI data has been given in the present ISFR.
21.40% of the forest cover in India is ‘highly’ to ‘extremely’ fire-prone
Fire prone forest areas of different severity classes have been mapped in the grids of 5km x 5km based on the frequency of forest fires. The analysis reveals that 21.40% of the forest cover of the country is highly to extremely fire-prone.