India is one of the top 10 countries globally in terms of forest area. The country's total forest and tree cover is 80.73 million hectares, which is 56 per cent of the country's geographical location. According to a 2019 assessment, there was an increase of 5,188 sq. km in the country's total forest and tree cover.
The Ministry for Environment, Forests and Climate Change released its 16th biennial publication of the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) in 2019. The report has assessed the qualitative nature of the forest cover, including listing its biodiversity and the type of plants and trees found.
The Top 5 States
The top five states with the largest forest cover area-wise are Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Maharashtra. However, Mizoram (85.4 per cent) is top in percentage wise criteria of forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh(79.63 per cent), Meghalaya (79.33 per cent). The top five states to have shown an increase in forest cover include Karnataka (1,025 sq km), Andhra Pradesh (990 sq km), Kerala (823 sq km), Jammu &Kashmir (371 sq km), and Himachal Pradesh (334 sq km).
According to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR), 2019, released by the Forest Survey of India on Monday, December 6, "the rise in the forest cover is attributed to better conservation measures, protection, afforestation activities, and tree plantation drives".
Rs 47,000 Crores Foor States
According to The Times Of India, the government allocated a fund of Rs 47,000 crores to states to increase the forest cover in these states. A kitty fund of rupees 55,000 was accumulated as compensation deposited by user agencies for diverting forest land for non-forest purposes such as industries, mining and infrastructure for years. The states were directed to use this compensatory afforestation amount for plantations, assisted natural forest regeneration, forest fire-prevention, pest and disease control in forest, and expedite soil and moisture conservation works.