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Forest cover in Northeast decreases by 628 sq km

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The forest cover in the Northeast region has decreased by 628 sq km. The fresh data are part of the India State of Forest Report 2015 released by Environment and Forest Minister Prakash Javadekar recently.

According to the current assessment, the total forest cover in the North East is 171,964 sq km, which is 65.59% of its total geographical area, in comparison to the national forest cover of 21.34%, the reports said. Very dense, moderately dense and open forest cover constitutes 14.81%, 43.85% and 41.34%, respectively, The Northeast Today reported.

The current assessment shows an actual decrease of forest to the extent of 628 sq km in the Northeast region, the report said. The State of Forest Report of 2013 also showed a decrease of Eastern States’ forest cover to the extent of 627 sq km in the north-eastern region. The NE region has been identified as one of the 18 biodiversity hot spots of the world.

The main reason for this decrease is attributed to the biotic pressure and shifting cultivation in the region.

The maximum loss was reported from the state of Mizoram (306 sq km) followed by Arunachal Pradesh (73 sq km), Nagaland (78 sq km), Meghalaya (71 sq km), Tripura (55 sq km), Assam (48 sq km) and Sikkim (1 sq km). Only Manipur gained 4 sq km.

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