Forests also provide services such as bio-diversity conservation, watershed protection and carbon sequestration. Decline in forest cover adversely impacts on ecology and economy of the area concerned.
New Delhi: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Thursday said the Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, an organisation under the ministry, found out that the overall forest cover in India has increased by 5,516 square kilometre between 2017 and 2021.
In the survey, some states have shown increase in forest cover while few others have shown decline in forest cover.
In a statement, the ministry said, “The increase in forest cover may be attributed to conservation measures, afforestation activities, enhanced protection measures in plantation as well as in traditional forest areas, expansion of Tree Outside Forest. The decrease in forest cover may be attributed to short rotational plantation, biotic pressure, clearance in encroached area, developmental activities etc.”
The statement added, “Forests are an invaluable resource to the country providing essential feeder services. Forests not only host villages in their fringe areas but neighboring villages areas are also dependent upon them as a resource base for several forest products like timber, fuel-wood, medicinal plants, food, non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Forests provide a number of products and services and contribute to the national economy.”
It added, “Forests also provide services such as bio-diversity conservation, watershed protection and carbon sequestration. Decline in forest cover adversely impacts on ecology and economy of the area concerned.”
“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,” it further said.
The ministry is implementing the 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.
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.
Afforestation activities are also taken up under various programmes 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.