India’s forest and tree cover has risen by 2,261 square kilometres in the last two years, with Andhra Pradesh growing the maximum forest cover of 647 square kilometres, according to the India State of Forest Report (ISFR) 2021 released on Thursday.

That’s equivalent to 22 times the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which is spread over 104 sqkm.

The biennial report by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), an assessment of the country’s forest resources, was released by Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav. He revealed that the total tree-and-forest cover in the country includes an increase of 1,540 square kilometres of forest cover and 721 sq km of tree cover compared to the 2019 report.

“It is very satisfying to know that the tree and forest cover has increased in India. The report also touches aspects which are important in terms of climate change.

“We are entering second phase of the Green Mission, the ministry has taken several decisions for increasing forest conservation and people participation.

To achieve India’s aim of increasing additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent by 2030, Nagar Van Yojna has been introduced to increase the tree cover and joined with the second phase of Green Mission in the next five years,” Yadav said in his address