New Delhi (NVI): Among the top 10 countries gaining forest cover in the last decade, India stands at 3rd spot, according to the Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
The report indicates that India has ranked third among the top 10 countries that have gained forest area during 2010-2020
India accounts for two per cent of the total global forest area, it said.
The Asian continent reported the highest net gain in the forest area between 2010 and 2020, according to the report. It recorded 1.17 million hectares (ha) per year net increase in forests in the last decade.
Besides, the South Asia sub-region reported net forest losses during 1990-2020.
During the decade, India reported 0.38 per cent annual gain in forest cover. This is 2,66,000 hectares of forest cover every year at an average.
According to the report, the top 10 countries that have recorded the maximum average annual net gains in forest area during last decade are China, Australia, India, Chile, Vietnam, Turkey, the United States, France, Italy and Romania.
The FRA 2020 has also credited the Indian government’s Joint Forest Management programme for the significant increase in community-managed forest areas in the Asian continent.
The report also showed that the forest area is managed by local, tribal and indigenous communities in India, which increased from zero in 1990 to about 25 million hectares in 2015.
However, the naturally regenerating forest rate is disappointing. It is also an indicator of the policies that India is pursuing.
India has been taking up massive afforestation and plantation schemes. So, the rate of increase in naturally regenerating forest was just 0.38 per cent, according to the FRA.
The report also examined employment in the forestry sector with data from 136 countries that represent 91 per cent of the world’s forests. Therefore, India reported the maximum employment in the forestry sector in the world.
Around 12.5 million people were employed in the forestry sector globally. Out of which, India accounted for 6.23 million, almost 50 per cent of forestry employment.
The FAO brings out the report once in every five years. This report assesses the state of forests in the memeber countries, their conditions and management.