Published on: January 27, 2023

State’s Forest Cover

State’s Forest Cover

Why in news?  India is lagging behind in the targets to increase the number and quality of tree and forest-cover plantations set in the Green India Mission, according to data accessed through the Right to Information (RTI) Act.


  • The States with a significant shortfall in tree cover include Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Kerala.

India State of Forest Report-2021

  • India’s total forest and tree cover accounted for 24.62% of the geographical area of the country
  • The report said 17 States and Union Territories had more than 33% of their area under forest cover
  • Madhya Pradesh had the largest forest cover, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Maharashtra.
  • The top five States in terms of forest cover as a percentage of their total geographical area were Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Nagaland.
  • However, it is said that increase in green cover was almost entirely via commercial plantations, could not compensate for natural forests and their biodiversity and, being monocultures.

Government of India Intiative

  • National Mission for a Green India (GIM) is one of the eight missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change.
  • It aims at protecting, restoring and enhancing India’s forest cover and responding to climate change
  • The target under the Mission is 10 million hectares (mha) of forest and non-forest lands for increasing the forest and tree cover and improving the quality of existing forests.
  • Improving tree cover is critical to sequester carbon and bolster India’s carbon stocks as part of its international commitments to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.