oppn parties ISFR: Green Cover Increases But Quality Deteriorates

News Snippets

  • Supreme Court sentences Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu to one year rigorous imprisonment in the 1988 road rage case
  • Home Minister Amit Shah says rights should not be demanded before fulfilling responsibilities and that universities are no place to wage ideological battles
  • NIA court convicts JKLF chief Yasin Malik in terror funding case after he pleads guilty of all charges
  • A study backed by PM-EAC has recommended universal basic income and urban job guarantee and greater spend on social sector schemes
  • Supreme Court rules that the decisions of the GST Council are not binding on the Centre and the states, leaving the door open for states to levy further taxes
  • After sustained campaign by BJP MP Arjun Singh, the Centre today withdrew the jute price cap order, industry welcomes move
  • Akasa Air might postpone its July launch due to late arrival of aircrafts
  • Metro Cash & Carry decides to sell Indian operations. All major players, including Reliance retail and Amazon, are likely to bid
  • Local and global cues spook the markets on Friday - Sensex crashes 1416 points to 52792 and Nifty by 430 points to 15809
  • IPL: RCB crushes GT by 8 wickets as Virat Kohli returns to form with a well-made half century
  • Nikhat Zareen is world champion in flyweight category. Wins gold at Women's World Championships at Instanbul
  • Supreme Court uses its special powers under Article 124 to release A G Perarivalan, a Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict
  • Indrani Mukherjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, gets bail from Supreme Court after 6.5 years in jail
  • Hardik Patel quits Congress, says top leaders distracted by mobile phones and state leadership busy arranging 'chicken sandwiches' for them
  • Anil Baijal resigns as Lieutenant Governor of Delhi citing "personal reasons"
Nikhat Zareen is crowned world champion in the flyweight (52Kg) category at the Women's World Championships in Istanbul /////// Supreme Court sentences Navjot Singh Sidhu to rigorous imprisonment of one year in the road rage case /////// Sunil Jakhar, who quit the Congress a few days ago, joins the BJP
oppn parties
ISFR: Green Cover Increases But Quality Deteriorates

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2022-01-14 07:51:23

The 17th India State of Forests Report (ISFR) is out. Although it reports that the overall green cover in India has increased in the last two years to cover nearly 25% of the country's geographical area, the fine print shows that the quality of the country's forests is declining. The green cover has now reached 809537 sq km of which 713789 sq. km is forest cover. The ISFR surveys three categories of forests - very dense forests (having canopy density over 70%), moderately dense forests (40-70%) and open forests (10-40%). Areas with canopy density less than 10%, called scrubs, are also surveyed but not categorized as forests.

The survey found that very dense forests have increased by 501 sq km. but the increase is mainly in forests that are protected and reserve forests with active conservation activities. On the other hand moderately dense forests, or "natural forests", have declined by 1582 sq km. Open forest area and scrub area has increased by 2621 sq km and 5320 sq km respectively. Experts say that taken together, these figures indicate a degradation of forests in the country with moderately dense forests becoming open forests and open forests giving way to scrub areas. This, they say, is extremely worrying and should be reversed.

The report has found that Telangana (3.07%), Andhra Pradesh (2.22%) and Odisha (1.04%) have shown the highest increase in forest cover while five states in the Northeast - Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland have all shown loss in forest cover. In terms of types of covers, mangroves have increased by just 17 sq km and bamboo forests grown from 13,882 million culms (stems) in 2019 to 53,336 million culms in 2021. The survey also found that 35.46 % of the forest cover is prone to forest fires.

While efforts must be made to further qualitatively increase the forest cover in the country, what is extremely distressing is the loss of forest cover in the Northeast, which was blessed with abundant and natural forests. The loss of cover is as much due to natural calamities as developmental activities. This will damage the biodiversity of the region. It will also lead to worsening of the landslide problem in the region. Experts pointed out that the unique ownership of forest land (which is either owned by the community or is protected tribal land) in the region makes conservation challenging. The government must immediately think of ways to protect the green cover in the region to stop further degradation.