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International Day of Forests 2023: Northeast Undergone Deforestation Of 1,020 Sq Kms

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Batori24 Bureau
Batori24 Bureau
Batori24 is a Vernacular based Assamese news portal based in Guwahati Assam. We are a dedicated news channel covering news and stories across the globe with special reference to Assam, north-east along with National and International news.

International Day of Forests 2023: Every year on March 21, the International Day of Forests is observed to highlight the importance of forests and to raise awareness about forest restoration. Forests, as the world’s lungs, filter out sediments, purify water, and clean the air we breathe.

History of International Day of Forests:

In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared March 21 as International Day of Forests to commemorate and raise awareness of the value of all types of forests.

“Forest sustainable management and resource use are critical to combating climate change and contributing to the prosperity and well-being of current and future generations,” according to the UN website.

 

How much forest is there in India?

According to data from the Spatial Database of Planted Trees, when Global Forest Watch (GFW) data is adjusted to the tree cover canopy threshold of 10%, India has 39.1 million hectares of natural forests and 3.71 million hectares of plantations, primarily for wood fibre, timber, fruit, and oil palm.

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The Indian government issued the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 on January 13, 2022, claiming a marginal (0.22 percent) increase in the country’s forest cover – a net increase of 1,540 square kilometres – from the previous assessment in 2019.

However, a closer look at the report reveals that the quality of India’s forests deteriorated across 15,183 square kilometres (sq km) in two years, between 2019 and 2021, as forests were either cut down or thinned out.

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The loss of forests has an impact on India’s carbon emissions. According to FSI estimates, India has a carbon stock of 7.1 gigatonnes, which has been increasing over time due to net tree cover gain.

According to GFW, the loss of tree cover in India emits an average of 0.037 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. This is the equivalent of 4 billion gallons of gasoline consumed in emissions. The increase in stock means that carbon sequestration compensates for the carbon loss, but further reduced deforestation could make India’s forests a larger carbon sink.

International Day of Forests 2023: Northeast Undergone Deforestation Of 1,020 Sq Kms

According to the recently released India State of Forest Report-2021, the green cover in India’s Northeastern region decreased by 1,020 square kilometres between 2019 and 2021.

Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim account for 23.75 percent of the country’s total coverage.

However, Arunachal Pradesh lost the most forest cover (257 square kilometres) during this time period, followed by Meghalaya (249 square kilometres), Nagaland (235 square kilometres), Mizoram (186 square kilometres), Meghalaya (73 square kilometres), Assam (15 square kilometres), Tripura (4 square kilometres), and Sikkim (one square kilometre).

Arunachal Pradesh lost the most land, 257 square kilometres, followed by Manipur (249 square kilometres), Nagaland (235 square kilometres), Mizoram (186 square kilometres), and Meghalaya (73 sq km).
Assam (15 sq km), Tripura (4 sq km), and Sikkim suffered less damage (1 sq km).

Assam, the most populous North-East state, has lost 15 square kilometres since the last assessment in 2019.

It should be noted that Assam is the least forested North-East state, with only 36.09 square kilometres of forest cover, and every tree cut represents a significant loss.
Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong, the two districts in Assam with the highest forest cover (84.94% and 75.08%), experienced the greatest depletion (55.01% and 55.27%, respectively).
There have been concerns raised about the proposed location of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Changsari in Assam, which is a natural wetland as per reports.

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