20February2018

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India is among top ten nations in forest cover: Dr Harsh Vardhan

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 BS RAWAT
NEW DELHI: The policy of Green Highways is contributing to an increase in trees and forest cover in India.

India's Environment and Forests Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that India is among the top ten nations in its forest cover despite having the maximum population density.

Releasing India's 'State of Forests Report-2017' in New Delhi on February 12, 2018, the minister said, “As per the assessment, the total carbon stock in forests is estimated to be 7,082 million tonnes.”

He stated, “India is striving towards increasing its new climate plan goal of creating additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through higher forest and tree cover by 2030.”

Quoting the report the minister said, “There is an increase of 38 million tonnes in the carbon stock of the country as compared to the last assessment.” The report also reveals that water bodies inside forest cover have also increased by 2,647 sq km.

The next years report would see a further perceptible, measurable improvement in forest cover, Dr Harsh Vardhan said.

The forest report said that forest and tree cover of the country has increased by 8,021 sq km as compared to assessment of last two years and that the very dense forest has increased by 1.36 per cent as compared to last assessment.

The minister gave credit to various government policies, including the Green Highways, for contributing to increase in the forest cover.

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