India map

India is the seventh largest country by area, the second most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. India lies within the Indomalaya ecozone and contains three biodiversity hotspots. One of 17 megadiverse countries, it hosts 8.6% of all mammalian, 13.7% of all avian, 7.9% of all reptilian, 6% of all amphibian, 12.2% of all piscine, and 6.0% of all flowering plant species. About 20% of the country's landmass is covered by forests (tree canopy density >10%), of which 12.2% comprises moderately or very dense forests (tree canopy density >40%). Endemism is high among plants (33% of India's plants are endemic), and among ecoregions such as the shola forests. Habitat ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, the Western Ghats, and North-East India, to the coniferous forest of the Himalayas. Between these extremes lie the moist deciduous sal forest of eastern India; the dry deciduous teak forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain. The medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies, is a key Indian tree. The Forest Conservation Act was enacted in 1980 and amendments added in 1988. India hosts more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; twenty-five wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention. (Wikipedia)

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
297,319,000 hectares
Area of forest
23.8% of land area
Area of agriculture
60.6% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
4.4% of land area

People

Population
1,311.1 million
Population growth
1.2% annually
Rural population
67.0%

Economics and development

GDP from agriculture
17.4%
GDP per person
1581.60 USD

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
1.60 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
1,050
Bonn Challenge Commitments
Goal year
2020
Date committed
Area committed
13,000,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
4,082 million USD
Potential climate benefit
1.23 GtCO2 sequestered
Goal year
2030
Date committed
Area committed
8,000,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
2,512 million USD
Potential climate benefit
0.76 GtCO2 sequestered
National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
10,400,000 hectares
REDD+ Strategy
National REDD+ Policy and Strategy (2014 draft)

The strategy does not provide any specific targets. The relevant policy framework is the Forest Act (1980) which regulates diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes and provides for compensatory afforestation.

National Forest and/or Climate Strategy and/or Low Carbon Development Strategy
Restoration target
9,400,000 hectares
National Mission for a Green India

The National Mission for a Green India is one of eight Missions under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The Green India Mission (GIM) acknowledges the influences that the forestry sector has on environmental amelioration through climate mitigation, food security, water security, biodiversity conservation and livelihood security of forest dependent communities. Overall objective: Increased forest/tree cover on 5 m ha of forest/non-forest lands and improved quality of forest cover on another 5 m ha (a total of 10 m ha) over 10 years. Sub-Missions include:

  1. Qualitative improvement of forest cover and improving ecosystem services: an estimated area of 4.5 m ha (1.5 m ha of moderately dense forest and 3 m ha of open forests) will be treated (p. 6).
  2. Ecosystem restoration and increase forest cover on 1.8 Mha: 600,000 ha rehabilitation of shifting cultivation areas (agroforestry/silviculture/improved fallow); 800,000 ha restoring scrublands through assisted natural regeneration; 100,000 ha restoring and afforestation with Seabuckthorn; 100,000 ha restoring mangroves; 100,000 ha ravine reclamation (tree planting); and 100,000 ha eco-restoration of abandoned mines (p. 8-10).
  3. Agroforestry and social forestry (increasing biomass and creating carbon sink) of 3,000,000 ha (p. 11).
  4. Restoration of wetlands of 100,000 ha (p. 12).
National Forest Policy (1988)

Basic Objectives: Increasing substantially the forest/tree cover in the country through massive afforestation and social forestry programmes, especially on all denuded, degraded and unproductive lands (page 3).

Strategy – Area under Forests: The national goal should be to have a minimum of one-third of the total land area of the country under forest or tree cover. In the hills and in mountainous regions, the aim should be to maintain two-third of the area under such cover in order to prevent erosion and land degradation and to ensure the stability of the fragile eco-system (page 4).

Strategy - Afforestation, Social Forestry, and Farm Forestry: A massive need-based and time bound programme of afforestation and tree planting, with particular emphasis on fuelwood and fodder development, on all degraded and denuded lands in the country, whether forest or non-forest land, is a national imperative. It is necessary to encourage the planting of trees alongside of roads, railway lines, rivers and streams and canals, and on other unutilized lands under State/corporate, institutional_ or private ownership. Green belts should be raised in urban/industrial areas as well as in arid tracts. Such a programme will help to check erosion and desertification as well as improve the microclimate. Village and community lands, including those on foreshores and environs of tanks, not required for other productive uses, should be taken up for the development of tree crops and fodder resources.   (page 4)

National Agroforestry Policy (2014)

Agroforestry can play a large part in meeting the national goal of increasing forest/tree cover to 33% from the current <25% (based on goal set in the 1988 National Forest Policy). Basic objectives include (1) Encourage and expand tree plantation in complementarity and integrated manner with crops and livestock to improve productivity, employment, income and livelihoods of rural households, especially the small holder farmers. (2) Protect and stabilize ecosystems, and promote resilient cropping and farming systems to minimize the risk during extreme climatic events. (3) Complement achieving the target of increasing forest/tree cover to promote ecological stability, especially in the vulnerable regions. (p. 5-6)

State of Forest Report (2013)

In Chapter 7: Trees in Agroforestry Systems in India, the Report of the Task Force on Greening India for Livelihood Security and Sustainable Development, Planning Commission (2001) assessed that there is agroforestry potential on 10 Mha of irrigated lands and 18 Mha of rain-fed areas for a total of 28 Mha (p. 72).

Global Environment Facility (GEF) projects
Restoration target
1,000,000 hectares
India Ecosystems Service Improvement Project

A 60-month project focused on restoration and enhancement of carbon stocks in forests and non-forest lands, with a goal of carbon stocks restored and sequestration increased in at least 1,000,000 ha production forests with native species mix (p. 2 PIF).

FLR Assessments

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