Nagaland lost 238 sq km of forest cover in four years
KOHIMA — While the country recorded a 5516 square kilometre increase in forest cover between 2017 and 2021, Nagaland’s forest cover decreased by 238 square kilometres during the same period, according to data published by the Forest Survey of India (FSI).
The forest cover in Nagaland was 12,489 square kilometres in 2017 but was reduced to 12,251 sq. km. in 2021. Hence, the change in forest cover between 2017 and 2021 is -238 sq. km in the 16,579 sq km geographical area.
This data was presented by the union minister of state for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Citing the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) published by FSI, the minister stated that other northeastern states also witnessed a decline in the forest cover during this period with Manipur recording the highest losses in forest cover with 748 sq km.
This was followed by Arunachal Pradesh with 533 sq. km, Mizoram with 366 sq km, and Meghalaya with 100 sq km. Tripura and Sikkim recorded relatively low losses compared to other NE states with 4 sq km and 3 sq km respectively.
Meanwhile, Assam is the only state to have recorded an increase in forest cover during this period, with a growth of 207 sq km.
The FSI, Dehradun, an organisation under the Ministry assesses forest cover biennially and the findings are published in India State of Forest Report.
“There has been an increase in forest covers of the country by 5516 square kilometres between ISFR 2017 and ISFR 2021”, the union minister stated.
The Ministry supports the States/Union Territories in carrying out afforestation activities through the centrally sponsored schemes like Green India Mission. It is also implementing the Nagar Van Yojana which envisages the creation of 600 Nagar Vans and 400 Nagar Vatika in the country during the period 2020-21 to 2026-27. The Nagar Van Yojana aims at enhancing the green cover in the urban and peri-urban areas and augmenting biological diversity, he added.
It may be recalled that the union minister while citing the IFSR 2021 report last year, stated that Nagaland lost the forest cover of 1067 sq km in ten years that is between IFSR 2011 to IFSR 2021.