New Delhi: The total forest cover in north-eastern states reduced by 1,020 square kilometers in the last two years, according to the latest report assessing the country’s green cover released on Thursday.

The India State of Forests Report (ISFR) 2021, released by the Ministry of Environment, revealed that the north-eastern states have a total forest cover of 1,69,521 square km, out of their total geographical area of 2,62,179 sq km, which is 7.98 per cent of the country’s geographical area.

The forest cover in the eight north eastern states accounts for 23.75 per cent of the total forest cover of the country.

While Arunachal Pradesh lost the maximum forest cover of 257 sq km, Meghalaya lost 249 sq km, Nagaland 235 sq km, Mizoram 186 sq km, Meghalaya 73 sq km, Assam 15 sq km, Tripura 4 sq km and Sikkim lost one square kilometre forest cover.

According to the report, this region of the country is characterised by shifting/jhum cultivation, where forest land is converted into agricultural land and the fields are cultivated for a relatively short time.

Thereafter, the area is allowed to recover or is left fallow for a long time, and this activity is repeated after certain years. Such agricultural practices mainly cause fluctuation in forest cover in this region, the biennial report said.

Also read: Documentary: The man-elephant conflict in the corridors of Assam

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