New Delhi (The Hawk): Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, an organization under the Ministry carries out the assessment of forest cover of the country biennially since 1987 and the findings are published in India State of Forest Report (ISFR). The forest cover assessment is a wall-to-wall mapping exercise based on remote sensing supported by intensive ground verification and field data from National Forest Inventory. ISFR 2021 is the latest report released by the Ministry on 13th January, 2022. As per the ISFR reports.
Hence, the overall increase in forest cover in the last one decade is 21,762 square kilometre.
To improve and increase the forest & tree cover in the country, afforestation programmes are taken up under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes of the Ministry such as National Mission for a Green India (GIM). GIM is one of the eight Missions outlined under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. It aims at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s forest cover and responding to Climate Change by undertaking plantation activities in the forest and non-forest areas.
The Ministry is implementing Nagar Van Yojana (NVY) since the year 2020 which envisages developing 400 Nagar Vans and 200 Nagar Vatika in the country during the period of 2020-21 to 2024-25 with an objective to significantly enhance the tree outside forests and green cover, enhancement of biodiversity and ecological benefits to the urban and peri-urban areas apart from improving quality of life of city dwellers with the funds under the National Fund of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). The Ministry is also implementing ‘School Nursery Yojana’ (SNY) since the year 2020 for a period of five years where students of class Sixth, Seventh and Eighth from all public and private schools organized by State Boards/ Central Government Boards all over the country will be actively involved in developing nursery, raising and planting seedlings as part of school curriculum.
Afforestation activities are also taken up under various programmes/funding sources such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Compensatory Afforestation Funds under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). Afforestation activities are also taken up under various schemes of State Government /UT Administration. In addition, plantations are also done by various departments, Non-Government Organizations, Civil Society, Corporate bodies etc.
The multi departmental efforts have yielded good results in conserving environment by addressing the problem of deforestation, besides keeping the pace of development, which is evident from the fact that the forest cover has stabilized and has been constantly increasing over the years. As per the latest ISFR 2021, the total forest cover of the country has increased by 12,294 square kilometres in the last seven years (ISFR 2015 to ISFR 2021).
The India State of Forest Reports published by the Ministry shows that overall at the national level forest cover has increased by 21,762 square kilometre in the last one decade. There is no decreasing trend in forest cover of the country.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.