Odisha’s Forest Cover Increases by 537 sq km and Mangrove Cover by 8 sq kms
Bhubaneswar: The forest cover in Odisha has increased as per the Forest Survey of India (FSI) report released by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change today.
As per the report, Odisha is the third state with highest forest increase in the country. While Andhra Pradesh and Telangana occupy the top two slots, with forest increase in 647 sq km and 632 sq km respectively, Odisha has shown an increase of 537 sq. km forest cover.
The reports also mentioned that in Odisha the forest cover constitutes 33.50 per cent of Odisha’s geographical area (GA). While 4.63 percent of GA recorded Very Dense Forest, 13.49 percent of GA recorded Moderate Dense Forest and 15.38 per cent of GA is Open Forest.
Odisha having 480 km long Sea coast is often prone to cyclones and sea erosion and to deal with this issue environmentalists have been encouraging to increase the mangrove cover in coastal areas. As per the report of FSI, the Mangrove forest cover in Odisha has increased to 8 sq kms.
Kendrapara district of Odisha has added 7.76sq. Km of Mangrove forest in the last 2 years, which is highest in the country.
Bijaya Kabi, an environmentalist from Kendrapara who has been promoting Mangrove plantation in the region shared, “It’s good to know that Mangrove forest cover has increased in the state. The awareness among people about Mangrove plants has increased and thus local people are showing interest towards its plantations. Even the forest department has become sincere and cautious for the conservation of mangrove plants which is showing positive results.”
Mangrove plants act as a natural barrier and prevent damages due to sea storms or cyclones. Being prone to regular cyclones, mass awareness is needed in the six coastal areas of Odisha. River mouths with suitable conditions for Mangrove plantations need to be identified and involve locals for the protection of mangrove plants,” said Kabi.