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Forest cover decreases by 376 sq km in the country

  • Twelve states and union territories of the country have shown considerable decrease in forest cover to an extent of 867 square kilometers. The forest cover in the country has decreased by 376 square kilometers in comparison to the year 2009. 
  • It was revealed in the India State of Forest Report 2011, released by the Secretary, Environment and Forest, T. Chatterjee in New Delhi.
  •  The report says, the forest cover of the country is over 78 million hectares which is 23.81 percent of the geographical area of the country. It also further said that 15 states have registered an aggregate increase of 500 square kilometers in their forest cover with Punjab leading with increase of 100 square kilometers. 
  • On the other hand, 12 states have shown decrease to the extent of 867 square kilometers. The biennial report observed that decline of 281 square kilometers in forest cover of Andhra Pradesh, is mainly attributed to harvesting of mature plantation of Eucalyptus and other species. 
  • While, decline has been observed in north east region due to prevailing practices of shifting cultivation in the region.

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