CAG Report: Gujarat Tree Cover shrank between 2006 and 2017

Published: September 28, 2020

The Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) recently submitted its reports at both the houses of the parliaments. According to the report, forest cover in Gujarat decreased between 2006 and 2017.

Highlights

The report says that the tree cover in the state was 8,390 square kilo metres. It shrank to 6,910 kilo metres in 2017. According to the report, tree cover includes exclusive forest cover and tree patches outside forest area. The total forest cover in the country is 21.67%. Of this, Gujarat contributes 7.57%. The forest cover in the country increased from 690.90 thousand square kilometres to 712.25 thousand square kilometres

What is the issue according to CAG?

Forest Cover in India includes lands more than one hectare with tree canopy density of more than 10% irrespective of legal status and ownership rights. According to the report, the Indian State of Forest Report said that the forest cover in the state increased to 14,860 square kilo metres. However, the tree cover in the state has decreased. This is contradictory.

Indian State Forest Report, 2019

The Indian State Forest Report is released by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It is a biennial publication. It assessed the tree cover, forest cover, carbon stock, forest fires and bamboo resources. For the first time in 2019, the report assessed the qualitative nature of forest cover. This was done by including biodiversity listings and types of trees and plants found. Previously the report was generated in 2017.

The total carbon stock was estimated at 7124 million tonnes. The total wetland region increased to 8.13%. Gujarat has the largest area of wetlands according to the report followed by West Bengal.

Maharashtra had the highest increase in tree cover in 2019. The forest cover in north-east region declined in 2019. Around 765 square kilometres of forest cover decreased in the region except for Tripura and Assam.

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