GUWAHATI, October 16: Northeast India lost 5-14 per cent of its tree cover in 2020 recording the biggest dip in the country, according to an analysis by a group of scientists from the University of Maryland.

The study 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.;

Assam, the largest of the seven states, contributed the most (14.1 per cent) to the national tree cover loss during the period.

In 2010, Assam had 2.42 mha (million hectare) of natural forest, spreading over 33% of its land area. In 2020, the state lost 17.8 kha of natural forest, equivalent to 8.04 MT carbon emissions.

Between 2002 and 2020, Assam lost 59.0 kha (kilo hectare) of humid primary forest, making up 23% of its total tree cover loss in the same period. The total area of humid primary forest in Assam decreased by 7.4% in this time.

Assam lost 269 kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 9.8% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 119Mt of carbon emissions.

In Assam, the top two regions were responsible for 60% of all tree cover loss between 2001 and 2020. Karbi Anglong had the most tree cover loss at 97.4 kha compared to an average of 9.94 kha.

In 2010, Arunachal Pradesh had 6.09 mha of natural forest, spreading over 75% of its land area. In 2020, it lost 12.6 kha of natural forest, equivalent to 6.63MT of carbon emissions.

From 2001 to 2020, Arunachal Pradesh lost 222 kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 3.5% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 116 MT of carbon emissions.

From 2001 to 2012, Arunachal Pradesh gained 47.8 kha of tree cover region-wide equal to 19% of all tree cover gain in India.

As of 2000, 77% of Arunachal Pradesh was tree cover. As of 2010, the top 6 regions represent 50% of all tree cover. West Siang had the most tree cover at 659 kha compared to an average of 340 kha.

From 2002 to 2020, Manipur lost 43.1 kha of humid primary forest, making up 22% of its total tree cover loss.

The total area of humid primary forest in Manipur decreased by 7.5% in this time. From 2001 to 2020, Manipur lost 196kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 12% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 100Mt of carbon emissions. In Manipur, the top 2 regions were responsible for 52% of all tree cover loss between 2001 and 2020. Churachandpur had the most tree cover loss at 58.4kha compared to an average of 21.8 kha.

From 2001 to 2012, Manipur gained 33.8 kha of tree cover region-wide equal to 13% of all tree cover gain in India. As of 2000, 75% of Manipur was natural forest cover.

In 2010, Meghalaya had 1.47 mha of natural forest, extending over 71% of its land area. In 2020, it lost 12.6 kha of natural forest, equivalent to 6.16Mt of carbon emissions.

From 2002 to 2020, Meghalaya lost 42.4 kha of humid primary forest, making up 22% of its total tree cover loss. The total area of humid primary forest in Meghalaya decreased by 8.3% in this period.

From 2001 to 2020, Meghalaya lost 195kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 12% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 98.6MT of carbon emission. In Meghalaya, the top three regions were responsible for 56% of all tree cover loss between 2001 and 2020. West Khasi Hills had the most tree cover loss at 45.7 kha compared to an average of 19.5 kha.

From 2001 to 2012, Meghalaya gained 19.1 kha of tree cover region-wide equal to 7.5% of all tree cover gain in India.

As of 2000, 69% of Meghalaya was natural forest cover.

In 2010, Mizoram had 1.81 mha of natural forest, extending over 85% of its land area. In 2020, it lost 24.1kha of natural forest, equivalent to 12.4Mt of carbon emissions.

From 2002 to 2020, Mizoram lost 14.4 kha of humid primary forest, making up 6.0% of its total tree cover loss in the same time. The total area of humid primary forest in Mizoram decreased by 4.8% in this time. From 2001 to 2020, Mizoram lost 247kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 13% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 123 MT carbon emissions.

In 2010, Nagaland had 1.31 mha of natural forest, extending over 79% of its land area. In 2020, it lost 15.2 kha of natural forest, equivalent to 8.25Mt of carbon emissions.

From 2002 to 2020, Nagaland lost 29.2 kha of humid primary forest, making up 14% of its total tree cover loss in the same time. The total area of humid primary forest in Nagaland decreased by 7.1% in this period. From 2001 to 2020, Nagaland lost 225 kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 17% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 116MT of carbon emissions. ‘

In 2010, Tripura had 560 kha of natural forest, extending over 54% of its land area. In 2020, it lost 11.3 kha of natural forest, equivalent to 6.35 MT of carbon emissions.

From 2002 to 2020, Tripura lost 97ha of humid primary forest, making up < 0.1% of its total tree cover loss.

The total area of humid primary forest in Tripura decreased by 8.2% in this period. From 2001 to 2020, Tripura lost 102 kha of tree cover, equivalent to a 15% decrease in tree cover since 2000, and 53.9MT of carbon emissions.

In Tripura, the top 2 regions were responsible for 53% of all tree cover loss between 2001 and 2020. Dhalai had the most tree cover loss at 39.3kha compared to an average of 12.8kha.

From 2001 to 2012, Tripura gained 1.18 kha of tree cover region-wide equal to 0.46% of all tree cover gain in India.



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