Forest cover in India down by 367 sq km

In what is a matter of huge environmental concern, India’s forest cover has declined by 367 sq km, according to the latest report released by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. The India State of Forest Report, 2011 shows that the country’s forest and tree cover is 78.29 million hectares, which is just 23.81 per cent of the total land area. The biggest casualty among states is Andhra Pradesh which itself accounts for 281 sq km of the total loss of green cover. The reason behind this massive deforestation are Naxals who are reportedly responsible for cutting down 182 sq km of forest area over a period of six months in just the Warangal and Khammam district which are the worst-hit. The other reason attributed to this alarming wipe-out of forest cover in Andhra Pradesh is the cutting of the eucalyptus plantation. The North East part of the country, which is known for its dense vegetation cover, too has seen a decline as per the report. Punjab, though, stands out as a positive with the report citing an increase in forest and tree cover by 100 sq km.

Source: NDTV

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