A high-power committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has recommended that forest surveys — the biennial exercise by the government to estimate forest cover — explicitly demarcate trees grown in forests from those grown outside, that is, in plantations and private lands.
Criticism of the state of forest survey report
- The increase in forest cover includes forests converted to commercial plantations, degraded and fragmented forests
- Forest cover does not consider the fragmentation of forests.
- India’s forests have degraded over past 100 year.
Highlights of the state of forest report 2017
- It is a biennial report
- It is published by Forest survey of India
- India posted a marginal 0.21% rise in forest cover between 2015 and 2017.
- India has about 7,08,273 sq. km. of forest, which is 21.53% of the geographic area of the country (32,87,569 sq. km.).
Target forest cover
Indian aims at having 33% of its area under forest cover. This has been the goal of government since 1988 forest policy.