Forest Area Sharply Declining In North East India: Study

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Forest canopy loss in Northeast India, Courtesy- Down To Earth
  • NET Web Desk

India lost its forest area close to 143,000 hectares till 2020, with 4.6 percent lower forest cover than in 2001, according to a study.

Majority of the loss, over 110,000 hectares, has been observed in North East India as reported by the University of Maryland’s forest change data.

The ‘Seven Sisters have lost nearly 5-14 percent individually of the total country’s loss from 2001 through 2020.

Assam has registered the highest loss in the tree canopy with a reduction of 14.1 percent in the last two decades.

However, states like Nagaland and Tripura in the last two decades saw their forest cover shrink fastest among the Northeastern states.

Researchers from the University of Maryland processed and analysed over a million satellite images to demonstrate the loss. Tree cover loss is ‘complete removal of tree cover canopy’, the scientists wrote.

They used algorithms to identify individual pixel values for every tree canopy lost, to calculate even the smallest changes in the forest area.

Factors listed for tree cover loss can be deforestation or timber harvesting, to the natural causes like forest fire or storms.