Panaji: The biennial assessment by Forest Survey of India has confirmed that state’s forest cover has been increased by almost 19 square kilometre in the year 2017, ranking Goa as the ninth in the country for the forest cover.
The forest cover of the State which is nestled in the Western Ghat to its North Eastern part has now grown to 60.21 per cent, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Ajai Saxena said.
The report by Forest Survey of India has been published recently indicating encouraging results about the forest cover. The report which is published by Union ministry of environment, forest and Climate Change has said that the forest cover has grown by 19 square kilometers as against five square kilometers in the year 2015, when the last survey was conducted.
Saxena said that as per the report, which is based on satellite data, the total forest cover of the State is 2,229 sq kms, which is 60.21 percent of the total geographical area. The State has 538 sq kms very dense forest, 576 sq kms moderately dense forest and 1,115 sq kms under open forest, he added.
He said that Government of India’s policy is that each state should have minimum 33 percent forest cover and Goa with 60.21 percent forest cover comes at number nine, in the list of 15 States and Union Territories, which already have more than 33 percent forest cover.
The report indicates that South Goa with largest forest cover spread across 1,302 sq kms has reported an increase of 12 sq kms in the forest area, while North has reported seven sq kms more with total area of 927 sq kms.
The forest cover is divided into two, recorded forest cover and that outside the recorded area. As per the survey, the recorded forest area of the State is 1,173 sq kms, which constitutes 33.09 percent of its geographical area.
The reserved and unclassified forest is 20.65 percent and 79.35 percent respectively of the recorded forest area, he added.
Also, the forest cover outside the recorded area is 1,056 sq kms with 758 sq kms open forest. The total tree cover of the State is 323 sq kms.
The total carbon stock of forests in the State is 19.016 million tons, which is only 0.27 percent of the total forest carbon of the country, he added.