Published on: April 15, 2024



NEWS –  Global Forest Watch monitoring project released


  • Tree Cover Loss in India
    • India lost 2.33 million hectares of tree cover since 2000.
    • Represents a 6% decrease in tree cover during this period.
    • Data from Global Forest Watch using satellite data.
  • Carbon Emissions and Sinks
    • Between 2001 and 2022, forests in India emitted 51 million tons of CO2 per year.
    • Removed 141 million tons of CO2 per year, resulting in a net carbon sink of 89.9 million tons per year.
  • Tree Cover Loss vs. Deforestation
    • Tree cover loss includes human-caused loss, natural disturbances, and temporary loss.
    • Accelerates climate change by releasing CO2.
  • Regional Impact
    • 95% of tree cover loss in India from 2013 to 2023 occurred within natural forests.
    • Five states accounted for 60% of all tree cover loss between 2001 and 2023.
  • Specific State Data
    • Assam, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Manipur experienced significant tree cover loss.
    • Odisha had the highest rate of tree cover loss due to fires.
  • Global Forest Watch’s Caution
    • Changes in data over time due to algorithm adjustments and improved satellite data.
    • Caution against direct comparison of old and new data, especially before/after 2015.
  • Forest Metrics and Challenges
    • Tree cover is a measurable metric for monitoring forest change using satellite imagery.
    • Difficulties in directly measuring forest loss or gain due to complexities in land use definitions.


  • Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a web application for monitoring global forests.
  • Developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI), based in Washington.
  • Functionality and Accessibility
    • Provides near real-time monitoring using satellite data and other sources.
    • Free and user-friendly, accessible to anyone.
  • Features
    • Allows users to create custom maps, analyze forest trends, and subscribe to alerts.
    • Data can be downloaded for local areas or the entire world.

NOTE – Tree Cover Metric

  • Refers to tree cover when discussing forest extent, loss, and gain.
  • Tree cover is easily measurable from space using medium-resolution satellite imagery.
  • Importance of Tree Cover
    • Convenient metric for monitoring forest change globally.
    • Enables frequent monitoring at low cost over large geographic scales.