The world seems greener than it was 20 years ago. A-third of that green cover is concentrated in China and India according to a study by NASA.
India accounts for 6.8% of the global net increase in leaf area which is equal to that of Canada and US combined. But all that green does not mean an increase in forest cover.
82% of greening in India is from farmlands which is on the rise due to multiple cropping, fertilizers and better irrigation. However, conservationist, Anish Andheria warns “Agriculture adds to climate change, does not take away from it”.
Forest area has increased marginally by 0.21% (6,778 sq km) since 2015. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala account for 60% of the increase. While the North-East saw a decrease in forest cover by 630 sq km
Majority of the forest land in India is diverted for irrigation and mining. This was mainly due to the shifting cultivation practiced by the tribes.