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List of states where forest cover increased in last 4 years

02:03 PM Mar 25, 2023 IST | Ground Report
list of states where forest cover increased in last 4 years

The 2023 State of India’s Environment report highlights that India’s total forest cover has increased by a little more than 0.5% between 2017 and 2021. However, the report also cautions that this seemingly positive development has some caveats.

The report highlights that very dense forests, which are critical for carbon sequestration and absorb maximum carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, occupy just 3% of India’s total forest cover. This underscores the need for more focused conservation efforts to protect these forests and prevent their degradation.


The increase in India’s forest cover is certainly a positive development. However, as you mentioned, the distribution of the increase among different types of forests is a cause for concern.

The fact that most of the increase has occurred in the open forest category, which includes commercial plantations, suggests that the increase may not necessarily represent a gain in biodiversity or ecosystem health.


According to the India State of Forest Report 2023, three southern states (Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka) and two eastern states (Odisha and Jharkhand) have recorded the highest increase in forest area.

States with increased forest area

StateForest area 21Forest area 2019Increase (in sq km)
Andhra Pradesh29,78429,137647

It is worth noting that these increases in forest area may not necessarily reflect a gain in natural forest cover, as some of the gains may be due to the establishment of commercial plantations or other forms of land use change.


Therefore, it is important to carefully examine the quality and composition of the forest cover to assess the ecological and conservation benefits of these changes.

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