India State of Forest Report 2017: One percent increase in total forest and tree cover

    • Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on 12 February 2018,  released the India State of Forest Report 2017 in New Delhi. The India State of Forest Report 2017 is 15th report in the series. Here are the main features of the ISFR 2017:
    • Total forest and tree cover: The total forest and tree cover is 24.39 per cent of the geographical area of the country.
    • According to the report the total forest and tree cover in the country has seen an increase of over 8,000 square kilometre, which is one percent increase from 2015.
    • Increase in forest cover: There is an increase of 8, 021 sq km (about 80.20 million hectare) in the total forest and tree cover of the country, compared to the previous assessment in 2015.
    • Much of the increase in the forest cover has been observed in Very Dense Forest (VDF), as VDF absorbs maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The increase in forest cover in VDF is followed by increase in open forest.
    • The increase in the forest cover has been observed as 6,778 sq km and that of tree cover as 1, 243 sq km.
    • In Absolute terms:-Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover of 77,414 sq km in the country in terms of area, followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 66,964 sq km and Chhattisgarh (55,547 sq km).
    • In Percentage terms:-In terms of percentage of forest cover with respect to the total geographical area, Lakshadweep with (90.33 per cent) has the highest forest cover, followed by Mizoram (86.27 per cent) and Andaman & Nicobar Island (81.73 per cent).
    • Maximum increase: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala have shown significant increase in forest cover due to successful agro forestry practices, increase in mangrove cover, better conservation and protection practices. Andhra Pradesh (2141 sq km), followed by Karnataka (1101 sq km) and Kerala (1043 sq km) have shown the maximum increase in forest cover.




    • 15 states among above 33% club:  Fifteen states/UT’s have above 33 per cent of the geographical area under forest cover. Out of these States and Union Territories, seven States/UTs namely Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur have more than 75 per cent forest cover, while 8 states – Tripura, Goa, Sikkim, Kerala, Uttarakhand, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Chhattisgarh and Assam have forest cover between 33 per cent to 75 per cent. About 40% per cent of the country’s forest cover is present in 9 large contiguous patches of the size of 10, 000 sq.km, or more.
    • Total Mangrove cover :-The total Mangrove cover in the country is 4,921 square kilometre with an increase of 181 square kilometre.
    • All the 12 mangrove states have shown a positive change in the mangrove cover, as compared to the last assessment. Mangrove ecosystem is rich in biodiversity and provides a number of ecological services.
    • The total growing stock: The total growing stock of India’s forest and trees outside forests is estimated as 5,822.377 million cum, of which 4,218.380 million cum is inside the forests and 1,603.997 million cum outside. There is an increase of 53.990 million cum of total growing stock, as compared to the previous assessment. Out of this the increase in growing stock, there is an increase of 23.333 million cum inside the forest and 30.657 million cum outside the forest area. The total carbon stock in the country’s forest is estimated to be 7,082 million tonnes, which shows an increase of 38 million tonnes, as compared to the previous assessment.
    • Extent of bamboo-bearing area: The extent of bamboo-bearing area in the country has been estimated at 15.69 million ha. In comparison to the last assessment done in 2011, there has been an increase of 1.73 million ha in bamboo area.
    • The growing stock of the bamboo in forest has been estimated to be 189 million tonnes.
    • There is an increase of 19 million tonnes in the bamboo-growing stock as compared to the last assessment done in 2011.
    • The total annual potential production of timer from trees outside forest has been estimated at 74.51 million cum.
    • The Government has recently enacted a Bill in the Parliament for taking out bamboo from the tree category, where it is grown outside forest areas. This will encourage people to grow bamboo on private lands, which will be helpful in increasing the livelihood opportunities for farmers and also enhance the green cover and carbon stock of the country.




  • India among top 10 countries: India is ranked 10th in the world, with 24.4% of land area under forest and tree cover, even though it accounts for 2.4 % of the world surface area and sustains the needs of 17 % of human and 18 % livestock population. India ranks among the top ten countries of the world in terms of forest area, despite the fact that none of the other 9 countries has a population density of more than 150 persons per sq km, compared to India, which has a population density of 382 persons per sq km.
  • Water Bodies:  As per the assessment, there is an increase of 2,647 sq km in the extent of water bodies inside forest cover between 2005 to 2015.

About the State of Forest Report

    • Forest Survey of India (FSI) has been assessing the forest and tree resources of our country on a biennial basis since 1987.
    • The report contains information on forest cover, tree cover, mangrove cover, growing stock inside and outside the forest areas, carbon stock in India’s forests and forest cover in different patch size classes.



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