JK’s forest cover reduced by 420 sq kms: GoI

Srinagar: The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Monday informed the Rajya Sabha that total cover of forest land of Jammu and Kashmir has decreased by 420 Sq Kms between 2015 to 2019.

The Ministry shared the information in Rajya Sabha in response to the question that sought details of the increase/ decrease in forest cover during the last 3 years, deforestation programs, and funds utilized during the past year.

In a written response, Union Minister of State (MoS) of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Babul Supriyo said from the total forest land of 624 Sq Kms, the cover has reduced by 410 Sq Kms while the percentage of total tree cover stands at 3.57 only.

He said 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 the India State of Forest Report (ISFR).

The forest cover assessment is a wall-to-wall mapping exercise based on remote sensing supported by intensive ground verification and field data from National Forest Inventory. As per ISFR 2019, the total forest and tree cover of the country is 8,07,276 Sq Kms which are 24.56 per cent of the geographical area of the country.

There is an increase of 13,209 square a kilometre of forest and tree cover at the national level in the ISFR-2019 as compared to the ISFR- 2015. The State/UTs wise details of the change in forest and tree cover as compared with ISFR-2019 and 2015.

Various schemes are being implemented by the Central and State Government/Union Territory Administration for an increase in forest cover in the country. These include the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) and Green India Mission (GIM) being implemented by the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change.

In a written detailed figures including J&K’s, the MoS said that from a total figure of 624 the graph has come down to 410 square kilometres

It said that Jammu and Kashmir has a total of 2,22,236 Sq Kms geographical area of which the forest cover comprises 23,612 Sq Kms taking the total percentage to 10.62.

It also said that the total tree cover includes 7,944 Sq Kms taking the total percentage to 3.57—(KNO)

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