India's forest cover increases
Net change

NEW DELHI: The forest cover of India has increased by 3775 square km compared to 2013, according to the India State of Forest Report 2015 released by Forest Survey of India.

When tree cover is added to that, the increase is of 5081 sq. km compared to previous assessment.

The total forest cover of the country is 701,673 sq km which constitutes 21.34 percent of the geographical area. The tree cover is estimated to be 92572 square kilometres which is 2.82 per cent of the geographical area. The total forest and tree cover thus comes to 2.82 per cent.

In the tribal districts, there is a net increase of 438 sq km forest cover spreading over 10 states. In hill districts, there is a net increase of 1680 sq km forest cover spreading over 6 states. North East Region (only 7.98% of the geographic area) accounts for nearly one fourth of forest cover. Mangrove cover increased by 112 sq km.

In the present assessment total carbon stock in forest is estimated to be 7044 million tonnes, showing an increase of 103 tonnes from 2013. The forestry sector poised to create additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, according to Director General of Forest Survey of India.

In Kerala, the forest cover increased by 1317 square kilometres mainly on account of increase in commercial plantations. There was marginal decrease in very dense forests. The decrease was of 100 square km in the case moderately dense forests.

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