Forest cover in country decreased by 728 km between 2003-2005

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New Delhi, Apr 24 (UNI) The forest cover in the country decreased marginally by 728 km between 2003 and 2005, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

In a reply during the Question hour, Minister of State for Environment and Forests S Regupathy, however, said the forest cover of the country has more or less stabilised as was clear from the assessments of the forest cover in the country by the Forest Survey of India(FSI) in 2001, 2003 and 2005.

While the forest cover in 2001 was assessed by the FSI as 653,898 km, it was 677,816 km in 2003 and 677,088 in 2005.

The FSI carries out forest cover assessment of the country using remote sensing technology once every two years.

On efforts being undertaken to increase the forest cover in the country, the Minister said the protection offered by the joint forest management committee contributes to the regeneration of forests which may lead to an increase in forest cover.

In addition, the integrated forest protection scheme was being implemented by the Ministry of environment and forests provides financial support to the state and Union Territory Governments for activities encouraging forest protection.

UNI AR RR BD1415

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