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India State of Forest Report 2021

India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 3: Environment- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation.

UPSC Current Affairs


India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021- Context

  • India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 was recently released by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • The ISFR-2021 provides information on-
    • Forest cover,
    • Tree cover,
    • Mangrove cover,
    • Growing stock,
    • Carbon stock in India’s forests,
    • Forest fire monitoring,
    • Forest cover in tiger reserve areas,
    • Above ground estimates of biomass using SAR data &
    • Climate change hotspots in Indian forests

Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980- Proposed Amendments to FCA


India State of Forest Report (ISFR)- Key Points

  • About: India State of Forest Report (ISFR) is a biennial survey of India’s forests and tree resources. The First India State of Forest Report was published in 1987.
  • Preparation: The India State of Forest Report is prepared by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), which has been mandated to assess the forest and tree resources of the country.
    • India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 is the 17th ISFR published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI).
  • Significance:
    • IFSR is widely used for formulating policies planning and management of forests as well as investments affecting the country’s forestry sector.
    • IFSR also acts as an important reference document for students and researchers in the field of natural resource management.
    • IFSR provides a significant amount of data that meets India’s reporting requirements to International Organizations and various conventions and commitments such as-
      • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
      • UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
      • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Red Sandalwood Falls Back into ‘Endangered’ Category


India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021- Major Findings  

  • Increase in total Forest and Tree Cover: As compared to the assessment of 2019 (ISFR-2019), there is an increase of 2,261 sq km in the total forest and tree cover of the country.
    • Out of this, the increase in the forest cover has been observed as 1,540 sq km and that in tree cover is 721 sq km.
    • The total forest and tree cover of the country is 80.9 million hectares which are 24.62 percent of the geographical area of the country.
  • Increase in forest cover (Top States): Increase in forest cover has been observed in the open forest followed by very dense forests.
    • As perISFR-2021, the top three states showing an increase in forest cover are-
      • Andhra Pradesh (647 sq km)
      • Telangana (632 sq km) and
      • Odisha (537 sq km).
    • Area-wise Forest Cover: ISFR 2021 reports that area-wise Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
    • Percentage-wise Forest Cover: In terms of forest cover as a percentage of total geographical area, the top five States are-
      • Mizoram (84.53%),
      • Arunachal Pradesh (79.33%),
      • Meghalaya (76.00%),
      • Manipur (74.34%) and
      • Nagaland (73.90%).
    • States/UTs with More than one-third area under forest cover: ISFR 2021 findings show that 17 states/UT’s have above 33 percent of the geographical area under forest cover.
      • More than 75%: Five states/UTs namely Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have more than 75 percent forest cover.
      • Between 33%- 75%: 12 states/UTs namely Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura, Goa, Kerala, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Assam, Odisha, have forest cover between 33% to 75%.
    • Increase in Mangrove cover: As per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021, an increase of 17 sq Km in mangrove cover has been observed as compared to the previous assessment of 2019.
      • The total mangrove cover in the country is 4,992 sq km.
      • Top three states showing mangrove cover increase are-
        • Odisha (8 sq km)
        • Maharashtra (4 sq km) and
        • Karnataka (3 sq km).
      • Total Carbon Stock: India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 shows an increase of 79.4 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment of 2019.
        • The annual increase in carbon stock is 39.7 million tonnes.
        • The total Carbon Stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7,204 million tonnes.
      • Bamboo Forests: As per ISFR 2021, Bamboo forests have grown from 13,882 million culms (stems) in 2019 to 53,336 million culms in 2021.
      • Status of Forest Fires: India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 findings show 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.
      • Climate change hotspots in Indian forests: As per ISFR 2021, around 45-64% of Indian Forests will experience the negative impact of climate change and rising temperatures by 2030.
        • Forests in all Indian states (except Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Nagaland) will be highly vulnerable climate hot spots.
        • UT of Ladakh (forest cover 0.1-0.2%) is likely to be the most affected due to climate change and rising temperature.
      • Forest cover in tiger reserve areas: IFSR 2021 included a new chapter related to the assessment of forest cover in the Tiger Reserves, Corridors and Lion conservation area of India.
        • The overall decrease in forest cover across the 52 tiger reserves in the last decade has been 22.62 square kilometres (sq km).
        • Some 20 of the 52 tiger reserves have shown an increasing trend.
        • Top three Tiger Reserves showing increasing forest cover
          • Buxa (West Bengal)- 238.80 sq km
          • Anamalai (Tamil Nadu)- 120.78 sq km and
          • Indravati (Chhattisgarh)- 64.48 sq km
        • The 32 remaining reserves have shown a declining trend, ranging from 0.06 sq km in Orang in Assam to 118.97 sq km in Kawal in Telangana.


State of the World Trees Report


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