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Total forest and tree cover increased by 2261 square kilometre in India as per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021

Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today informed that the 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). As per latest ISFR 2021, the total forest cover of the country is 7,13,789 square kilometre which is 21.72% of the geographical area of the country. The current assessment shows that the total forest cover of the country has increased by 1540 square kilometre, tree cover has increased by 721 square kilometre, and total forest and tree cover has increased by 2261 square kilometre at the national level as compared to the previous assessment i.e. ISFR 2019. The State/UTs wise details of forest cover as per ISFR 2021is given in Annexure I.

In the written reply it was stated that in order to restore ecosystems and increase the forest cover in the country, afforestation and tree plantation activities are undertaken by States/UTs. The Ministry provides financial assistance to States/UTs under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes namely Green India Mission to support and supplement the efforts of States and Union Territories. National Mission for a Green India (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. GIM activities started in the Financial Year 2015-16. So far, a sum of Rs. 728.21 Crores have been released to sixteen States and one union territory for afforestation activities, over an area of 1,36,808 hectare. The State-wise details of funds released during the last five years and current year is given in Annexure-II.

It was stated that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is implementing Nagar Van Yojana (NVY) since the year 2020 which envisages creation of 400 Nagar Vans and 200 Nagar Vatika in the country during the period 2020-21 to 2024-25 under the funds available under National Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAMPA). The Nagar Van Yojana aims to enhance the green cover in the urban and peri-urban areas including biological diversity, provide ecological benefits and improve the quality of life of city dwellers. So far, the Ministry has approved 270 projects under Nagar Van Yojana with the total cost of Rs.238.64 Crore.

It was stated that the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAMPA fund) are being utilized by States/UTs for taking up compensatory afforestation as per approved Annual Plan of Operations for compensating the loss of forest & tree cover due to diversion of forest land for developmental projects as per provisions of Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016 (CAF Act) and CAF Rules, 2018. In addition to this, area specific provisions such as preparation of Catchment Area Treatment Plan, Wildlife Conservation Plan, Soil and Moisture Conservation Plan, etc. are also stipulated to mitigate the impacts of diversion of forest lands. The details of CAMPA funds released to the States/UTs during 2018-19 to 2022-23 are enclosed at Annexure-III.

Afforestation activities are also taken up under various programs and schemes of line Ministry such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Bamboo Mission, Sub-Mission on Agroforestry etc. and under schemes of State Government /UT Administration through different departments, Non-Government Organizations, Civil Society, Corporate bodies etc. The multi departmental efforts have yielded good results in conserving and enhancing forest cover in the country.


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