Forest cover in NE states reduced by 1,020 sq kms in last 2 years, says ISFR report

NEW DELHI, 13 Jan: The total forest cover in the northeastern states reduced by 1,020 square kilometres in the last two years, according to the latest report assessing the country’s green cover released on Thursday.

The India State of Forests Report (ISFR) 2021, released by the ministry of environment, revealed that the northeastern states have a total forest cover of 1,69,521 square kms, out of their total geographical area of 2,62,179 sq kms, which is 7.98 percent of the country’s geographical area.

The forest cover in the eight northeastern states accounts for 23.75 percent of the total forest cover of the country.

While Arunachal Pradesh lost the maximum forest cover of 257 sq kms, Meghalaya lost 249 sq kms, Nagaland 235 sq kms, Mizoram 186 sq kms, Meghalaya 73 sq kms, Assam 15 sq kms, Tripura 4 sq kms and Sikkim lost one square kilometre forest cover.

According to the report, this region of the country is characterised by shifting/jhum cultivation, where forest land is converted into agricultural land and the fields are cultivated for a relatively short time.

Thereafter, the area is allowed to recover or is left fallow for a long time, and this activity is repeated after certain years. Such agricultural practices mainly cause fluctuation in forest cover in this region, the biennial report said. (PTI)