Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Forest Report, 2011

As per the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2011, the Forest and Tree Cover of the country is 23.81% of the geographical area of the country. The forest cover of the country has registered a marginal decline of 0.05% as compared to the previous assessment published in ISFR 2009.

Minister of State (I/C) for Environment and Forests Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan further stated in Rajya Sabha today that in the India State of Forest Report, the forests are classified into three categories such as Very Dense Forest (VDF), Moderately Dense Forest (MDF) & Open Forests not as degraded forests. The area covered by Very Dense Forests (VDF) is 83,471 km2 (2.54%), that with Moderately Dense Forests (MDF) is 320,736 km2 (9.76%) and Open Forests is 287,820 km2 (8.75%).

She said forests are defined legally in accordance to the provisions of Indian Forest Act, 1927 such as Reserve Forests, Protected Forests and Village Forests.

The Minister, however, clarified that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has extended the scope of forest and “forest” must be understood according to its dictionary meaning. This description cover all statutorily recognized forests, whether designated as reserved, protected or otherwise, including any area recorded as forest in the Government records irrespective of the ownership, for the purpose of Section 2 (i) of the Forest Conservation Act.

In India State of Forest Report, the different categories of forests are defined for assessment of forest cover on the basis of tree canopy density which are as follows:-

Very Dense Forest
All lands with tree canopy density of 70% and above

Moderately Dense Forest
All lands with tree canopy density between 40% and 70%

Open Forest
All land with tree canopy density between 10% - 40%

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