Forest area declines in 14 states of India: report

Forest
The forest cover in the country has decreased by 367 sq kms with the green area decreasing in 14 states, as per a forest report released here today.

According to India State of Forest Report-2011, forest cover has decreased in 14 states including Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Assam, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Meghalaya and Tripura, an official release said here today.

However, the forest cover has increased in Bihar, Goa, Haryana, Jammu-Kashmir, Karnataka and Andaman-Nicobar.

Three states - Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Sikkim – have maintained their forest cover, the release said.

Madhya Pradesh is still on top in the country with total 77,700 sq kms forest cover followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 67,410 sq kms, an official release said here today while quoting the State of Forest Report 2011.

Next in the list is Chhattisgarh with 55,674 sq kms, followed by Maharashtra with 50,646 sq kms and Odisha with 48,903 sq kms of forest cover.

Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Sartaj Singh has directed officers to facilitate increase in density of forest cover by planting maximum saplings in moderately dense areas and further strengthening forest protection arrangements.

Out of the total forest cover in the state, there are extremely dense forests over 6,640 sq kms and dense forests in 34,986 sq kms, whose density needs to be increased.

Moderately dense forest area is spread over 36,074 sq kms while open area is 16,989 sq kms.

In terms of percentage, seven per cent of the total forest cover is extremely dense, 36 per cent dense, 39 per cent moderately dense and 18 per cent open area, the release added.

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