India continues to lose forest land to non-forestry projects

News: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has released the Annual Report 2019-20.


Key Observations:

  • Diversion of forest land:The diversion of forest land for other purposes continued throughout India as total 11,467 hectares of forest lands were diverted in 22 states.
    • More than a third of the diversion was in Odisha followed by Telangana and Jharkhand.The largest area of forest land was diverted for irrigation and mining projects.
  • Forest Villages:There was no conversion of forest villages to revenue villages in 2019 as stipulated under the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. 
    • Forest villages were villages set up by the British Indian government to settle workers inside forests and procure resources like timber more efficiently.There are around 2,500 forest villages across the country. 
  • Biosphere Reserves: Out of 18 Biosphere Reserves designated nationally, so far 11 have been included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO.
  • Tigers in India: India has achieved the target set by the St Petersburg declaration on tiger conservation (to double the number of wild tigers). As per the 4th cycle results, tiger estimate is 2967 vis-a-vis the estimate of 1411 In 2006.