Forest Cover

Forest Mao

Quality of Forest Cover

Source: State of Forest Report -2017 by FSI

As per the State of Forest Report, 2017 published by Forest survey of India the Forest Cover of the State is 17,146 sq km (76.44 % of Geographical area) and Tree cover is 657 sq km (2.92% of Geographical area). Against the National Goal to maintain two-third of the land area in hills and mountainous region of the country, the Forest and Tree cover in the State is 79.37 % covering 17,803 contributing 2.26 % of India’s Forest and Tree Cover. The State ranks in 4th position in terms of percentage of Forest Cover in the country. However due to prevailing land tenure system, only 1145.19 sq km of Forest areas (5.10 % of Geographical area ) comes directly under the control of the State Forest Department in the form of RF, PF, NP, WLS and Parks and Garden  and rest of the forest areas belong to communities, clan and private people and District Councils.  Three Autonomous District Councils have been set up under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India Viz.1. Khasi Hills Autonomous District Councils 2.Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Councils 3.Garo Hills Autonomous District Councils. Under Para 3 of Sixth Schedule, the District Councils have power to make laws with respect to, among others, the management of any forest not being a reserved forest. Hon’ble Supreme Court vide order dated 12.12.1996 in the case of T.N. GodavarmanThirumulkpad vs Union Of India &Ors clarified that provisions enacted in the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 for the conservation of forests and the matters connected therewith must apply  to all forests   irrespective of the ownership or classification thereof; the term "forest land", occurring in Section 2  includes "forest" as understood in the dictionary sense and also any area recorded as forest in the Government record irrespective of the ownership.As per Supreme Court Order dated 12.12.1996 and 15.01.1998 in the case of T. N. GODAVARMAN THIRUMALPAD  Vs.  UNION OF INIDA & OTHERS WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) 202/1995, the felling of trees in all forest areas irrespective of ownership shall be in accordance with approved Working Scheme and only those wood based industries which have been cleared by HPC on or before 15.01.1998 without penalty shall be allowed to shift to industrial estates and others would be allowed to wind up as per law.

District Wise Forest Cover

 Source: State of Forest Report -2017 by FSI