Prelims level : Geography- G2 Geography of India- G2A Physical Setting Mains level : Salient features of world's Physical Geography
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  • Forest cover of India increased by 2%

State of Forests Report:

  • Is a biennial publication of FSI, an organization under MoEFCC, GoI. ISFR 2017 is the 15th in the series since 1987
  • Forest cover of the country is mapped through indigenous RESOURCESAT -2 satellite
  • data with a LISS III sensor.
  • The LISS-III (Linear Imaging Self Scanning Sensor) sensor is an optical sensor working in  four  spectral  bands  (Green,  Red,  near  Infrared  and  short-wave  infrared).  It  covers  a 141km-wide swath with a resolution of 23 metres in all spectral bands.
  • It provides the estimates of
    • Growing stock within and outside the forest areas
    • Special thematic information on forest cover in hill,
    • tribal and north eastern states
    • Carbon Sink
    • Bamboo
    • Mangrove cover

Recorded Forest Area and Forest Blank

  • The area recorded as “forests” in the Government records is called Forest Area or Recorded Forest Area.
  • The patches within the forest area which have little or no trees are called “Forest Blank”

The report for the First Time Contains:

  • Information on decadal change in water bodies in forest during 2005-2015
  • Forest fire
  • Production of timber from outside forest
  • State wise carbon stock in different forest types and density classes

Classification of Forest Cover into density classes

  • Very Dense (Canopy Density > 70%)
  • Moderate Dense (Canopy Density 40% to 70%)
  • Open Forest (Canopy Density 10% to 40%)
  • Scrub: Degraded forest lands (Canopy density <10%) Non-forest: Lands not included in above classes

Top Five States / UTs that have shown the maximum increase in forest cover are:

  • Andhra Pradesh (2141
  • Karnataka (1101
  • Kerala (1043
  • Odisha (885
  • Telangana (565

Top 5 States where Forest cover has Decreased are:

  • Mizoram (531
  • Nagaland (450
  • Arunachal Pradesh (190
  • Tripura (164
  • Meghalaya (116

Top three states/UTs having the largest forest cover in terms of area are:

  • Madhya Pradesh (77414
  • Arunachal Pradesh (66964
  • Chhattisgarh (55547

Important Terms: / Canopy and Canopy Density:

The cover of branches and Foliage formed by the crown of trees is called Canopy. The percentage area of land covered by the canopy of trees is called Canopy density.

Forest Cover:

  • All lands which are More Than 1 Hectare in Area and with a Canopy density of more than 10% irrespective of the ownership and legal status is called Forest Cover.
  • Also, it does not make any distinction whether the forest is natural or manmade forest, government or private, recorded or not recorded. It includes bamboo, orchards, palm etc.

Carbon Stock:

  • It is defined as the amount of carbon stored in the ecosystem of the forest especially in living biomass and soil
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