According to the latest Indian State of Forest Report 2013, Chandigarh is ranked third in the country in terms of percentage of area under tree cover, down from the second position in the last assessment in 2011. The report, released on July 8, was compiled by the Forest Survey of India, Dehradun, which is under the environment and forests ministry.
An assessment of tree cover in a region is made from a sample-based methodology using both field inventory data of trees outside forests and high resolution, remote sensing data.
According to the report, Lakshadweep has the highest percentage of tree cover (16.69%), followed by Goa (9.03%), and Chandigarh (8.51%). Of the city’s total area of 114 sq km, tree cover is 10 sq km. The area under tree cover has remained unchanged since 2011.
CITY’S FOREST COVER UP
According to the report, the area under forest cover in Chandigarh has risen by 0.23% (0.26 sq km) since 2011.
Forest cover includes all areas measuring at least one hectare (10,000 sq metre) which have a tree canopy density of 10% and above. The assessment of forest cover is made through remote sensing data.
Of Chandigarh’s area, 1.36 sq km comprises ‘very dense forest’; 9.66 km is ‘moderately dense forest’ and 6.24 km is ‘open forest’.
“The forest cover has risen due to the efforts of various government agencies, NGOs, and environmental groups. We have set a target of planting at least 200,000 trees every year,” said UT conservator of forests Santosh Kumar.