Centre confident of achieving NDC targets under Paris Agreement
The carbon stock for 2017 has been estimated at 7,083 million tonnes and there is an increase of 39 million tonnes when compared to the estimates of the previous assessment, the government told Lok Sabha Friday. Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma said in a written reply India is committed to creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030 as per the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
He said the average annual increase of carbon stock has been worked out to be around 35 million tonnes and at this rate, India would reach around 1.9 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. He said India is on track to meet the NDC targets. In the context of forests, carbon stocks refer to the amount of carbon stored in the world's forest ecosystem, mainly in living biomass and soil, but to a lesser extent also in dead wood and litter.
Sharma said the Forest Survey of India estimates carbon stock of forest by using National Forest Inventory data collected during forest inventory and forest cover area following the guidelines are given by the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change. "The carbon stock for 2017 has been estimated to be 7,083 million tonnes. There is an increase of 39 million tonnes of carbon stock as compared to the estimates of previous assessment.
"The average annual increase of carbon stock is worked out to be around 35 million tonnes. At this rate, India would reach around 1.9 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. "The shortfall of about 0.6 to 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent can also be achieved by (a) improving the density of natural forests and (b) raising plantation in available non-forest lands and on available wasteland," he said. The FSI, Dehradun, a subordinate organisation under the ministry carries out the assessment of forest cover of the country biennially and the findings are published in India State of Forest Report.
As per the latest report — ISFR-2017, the total forest and tree cover in the country is 8,02,088 square kilometre (forest cover 7,08,273 square kilometre, tree cover 93,815 square kilometres) which is 24.39 per cent of the geographical area of the country, he said. He added that there is an increase of 8,021 square kilometres (forest cover 6,778 square kilometres, tree cover 1,243 square kilometres) of total forest and tree cover compared to that of ISFR-2015 which is about 1 per cent of total forest and tree cover in the country.
(With inputs from agencies.)