Andhra Pradesh records 990 sq km increase in forest cover compared to 2017
VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh has recorded an increase of 990.40 sq km forest cover compared to 2017, according to the 16th India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2019 released by Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar on Monday. However, it is less than 2017, when the State recorded an increase in forest cover by 2,141 sq. km.
AP stood second among the States in terms of increase in forest cover after Karnataka (1,025 sq.km). Kerala (823 sq.km), Jammu & Kashmir (371 sq.km) and Himachal Pradesh (334 sq.km.) came third, fourth and fifth respectively. The total Recorded Forest Area (RFA) is 37,258 sq.km, 22.86 per cent of the State’s total geographical area. However, it is less than the national figure of 24.56 per cent forest area.
Of the RFA, 31, 959 sq.km (85.78 %) is Reserved Forest Area, 5,069 sq.km (13.60 %) Protected Forest Area and 230 sq.km (0.62 %Unclassed Forest Area. In the last two years, the State has raised plantations in 15,107 hectares of forest land.
The data states that 1965 sq.km (8.15%), 12821 sq.km (53.16%), 9333 sq. km (38.69%) is very dense forest, moderately dense forest and open forest, respectively, under the ‘forest cover inside RFA’ category and 29 sq.km (0.58%), 1117 sq.km (22.26%), 3872 sq. km (77.16%) is very dense forest, moderately dense forest and open forest, under the ‘forest cover outside RFA’ category. The RFA consists of three national parks and 13 wildlife sanctuaries, covering 7311.08 sq.km.