With total 60.21% forest cover, the state ranks 9th in the country; South and North Goa reported increase
of 12 sq kms & 7 sq kms in the forest area respectively
PANJIM: As per the latest biennial assessment by Forest Survey of India (FSI), Goa’s forest cover has increased by 19 sq kms in 2017 thus ranking the small state at the 9th position in the country with total 60.21 per cent forest cover.
The report published by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) indicated that the forest cover in the State has increased by 19 sq kms compared to that in 2015, which reported 5 sq kms.
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.
“The total increase in forest cover of the State is 19 sq kms as per the latest FSI report, which is more compared to 2015 report. The total forest cover of Goa is 2229 sq kms as per 2017 report. It was 2210 sq kms as per FSI 2015,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Ajai Saxena told Herald.
Saxena 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 per cent forest cover.
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 rise with total area of 927 sq kms.
The forest cover is divided into two, recorded forest cover and 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 unclassed forest is 20.65 percent and 79.35 percent respectively of the recorded forest area.
Similarly, 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 tonnes, which is only 0.27 percent of the total forest carbon of the country.