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Odisha Among Five States Contributing To Increase Of 2,261 Sq Km Forest Cover In The Country In Last 2 Years

New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha have witnessed the maximum increase in forest cover in the last two years.

The forest and tree cover in India is now 8,09,537 sq kms, which is 24.62 per cent of the country’s geographical area and 1,540 sq kms more compared to the 2019 assessment, the India State of Forest Report 2021 released by Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Thursday revealed.

There has been an increase of 2,261 sq kms (0.28 per cent) in total forest and tree cover in the country in the last two years.

Odisha has gained 537 sq km of forest cover between 2019 and 2021.

According to the report, it is the third highest forest increase in the country. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana occupy the top two slots, showing a gain of 647 sq km and 632 sq km respectively.

The reports said that forest cover constitutes 33.50 per cent of Odisha’s geographical area (GA).

Very Dense Forest: 4.63 per cent of GA

Moderate Dense Forest: 13.49 per cent of GA

Open Forest: 15.38 per cent of GA

The mangrove cover in the vast 7,500 km coastline spread over 12 states and Union Territories has seen a net increase of 17 sq km compared to 2019. Odisha (8 sq km) and Maharashtra (4 sq km) have shown significant improvement.

The total number of bamboo culms has increased by 13,882 million since 2019. There has been an increase of 721 sq km in the vegetative cover as compared to the 2019 data, the report added.