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List of states where forest cover decreased in last 4 years

List of states where forest cover decreased in last 4 years

The 2023 State of India’s Environment report highlights that eight northeastern states in India have lost 1,020 sq km of forest cover in last 4 years.

According to a report by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the eight northeastern states of India have lost a total of 1,020 square kilometers of forest land between 2019 and 2021.

These states collectively represent about 23.75% of the country’s total forest cover. Arunachal Pradesh had the highest forest cover loss with 257 square kilometres, followed by Manipur with 249 square kilometres, Nagaland with 235 square kilometres, and Mizoram with 186 square kilometres.

Between 2011 and 2019, forest cover in six states decreased by nearly 18%, excluding Assam. In the past decade, the region has lost approximately 25,012 square kilometres of forest land.

States with increased forest area

StateForest area 21Forest area 2019Decrease (in sq km)
Arunachal Pradesh66,431 66,688 257
Manipur 16,598 16,847 249
Nagaland 12,251 12,486 235
Mizoram 17,820 18,006 186
Meghalaya 17,046 17,119 73

According to Promode Kant, a former Indian Forest Service officer, this significant loss can be attributed to development activities, changing farming patterns, and changes in crops. He also notes that while forest loss in the northeastern states is not new, the loss of very dense forests is particularly concerning. Except for Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, very dense forests in all six states make up less than 10% of the total forest cover.

It is important for policymakers to take immediate action to address this issue and promote sustainable forest management practices to protect the environment and the livelihoods of communities in the region.

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