Indian forest areas grow by one per cent through agro forestry
India is among the top ten nation in the world in terms of forest area. Andhra Pradesh shows the maximum green coverage over land.
A Quarters of India’s land has now turned green, as per India State of Forest Report 2017, forests have grown by 8,021 square kilometres from the last survey conducted in 2015. This implies that total of 802,088 square kilometres of the nation which is 24.4 per cent, wears a green blanket. This figure is near the entire size of Pakistan.
India ranks 10th in the world in such covering and reported to grown by 1.36 per cent. Environment Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan gave a state wise break up and said Andhra Pradesh has shown a maximum increase in forest cover with 2141 sq km followed by Karnataka (1101 sq km) and Kerala (1043 sq km). Over 7 billion tonnes of ‘carbon stock’ is stored in the ecosystem with the increase of 38 million tonnes from previous assessment.
Bamboo-bearing areas have recorded an increase of 1.73 million ha. Bamboo stock has shown a rapid growth of 19 million tonnes surpassing the last assessment in 2011. Recently government has proposed a bill to put bamboo out of the tree category, where it is grown outside the forest areas in order to motivate people for growing bamboo on private areas to boost their livelihood opportunities.
The government has adopted new agro forestry practices to meet its commitment under Paris Agreement to generate additional carbon sinks of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030. However, some states have given poor results by decreasing their coverage up to 500 sq km, as per government, agricultural expansion and developmental activities have been the major cause for this.