The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has released the latest version of India’s State of Forest Report 2021. (MoEFCC). The paper includes detailed information on the woods and trees found in Indian territory. This report includes information for particular states, zones, and the entire country. ISFR 2021 is the 17th edition of this study, which was initially released in 1987.

In the IAS Prelims, the topic has a good potential of being asked as Geography and/or Environment questions.

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ISFR Report 2021 UPSC

The Forest Survey of India (FSI) compiles the State of Forests Report after doing extensive research, data collection, and compilation across the country. The report, however, is released by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, not by FSI (MoEFCC). It is issued every two years, with the 2019 report coming before the 2021 report.

The research is based on a survey of three types of forests: Very Dense Forests, Medium Dense Forests, and Low Dense Forests (having canopy density of more than 70 per cent).

#Forests with a Moderate Density (having canopy density between 40 per cent and 70 per cent).

#Forests in the open (having canopy density between 10 per cent and 40 per cent)

#When the canopy density is less than 10%, the area is classified as “scrubs” rather than “forests,” but it is still surveyed.

New Features of India State of Forest Report, 2021

Gir Forest (the only home of Asiatic Lions), Tiger Corridors and Tiger Reserves were all included in the study and survey for the first time.

Twenty of the 32 tiger reserves have seen an increase in forest cover over the last decade, while the remaining ten have seen a reduction.

The cover in tiger corridors has increased slightly, but the forest cover in tiger reserves has decreased significantly.

Forest cover has increased in the following tiger reserves:

#Buxa Tiger Reserve (West Bengal)

#Indravati Tiger Reserve (Chhattisgarh)

#Anamalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu)

Forest cover has been lost in the following tiger reserves:

#Bhadra Tiger Reserve (Telangana)

#Kawal Tiger Reserve (Karnataka)

#Tiger Reserve of the Sunderbans (West Bengal)

#The Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh has the best record in terms of total cover to the area, with as much as 97 per cent forest cover.

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Improvement in Forest Area

#India’s total area cover increased by 0.4 per cent, from 21.67 per cent to 21.71 per cent, demonstrating that the country’s greenery is still growing.

#India’s tree cover has increased by 721 square kilometres.

#In terms of growing cover, the following three states are the best performers:

Telangana is a state in India (3.07 per cent).

Andhra Pradesh is a state in India (2.22 per cent).

Odisha is a state in India (1.04 per cent).

#States having the most cover/ area in terms of area:

Madhya Pradesh, which is followed by Chhattisgarh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, and Maharashtra, continues to have the biggest area under forest cover in India.

#States having the highest forest cover/area as a percentage of their total area:

Mizoram is the most populous state in this group, followed by Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland.

Forest Area Vs Forest Cover

Forest Area refers to any wooded region that indicates a legal status of the land in government records, whereas Forest Cover refers to any non-government recognised territory with forests.

Fact: A tree cover is defined as a region of less than one hectare in size that exists outside of the documented forest area and has trees of various sizes and canopy sizes that are strewn about.

Decrease in Forest Cover

The following states in India’s northeast have seen their forest cover dwindle:

Arunachal Pradesh





Reduction in Natural Forests

According to India’s State of Forest Report 2021, the area of “Moderately Dense Forests,” also known as “Natural Forests,” has decreased. The trend is followed by significant growth in the area classified as “Open Forests,” showing that India’s forests are degrading. It’s also worth noticing that “Scrub Area” has increased significantly, possibly indicating complete forest destruction.

The forest cover in the northeast Indian states has decreased by about 1000 square kilometres. Natural disasters, such as landslides, severe rains, and floods, are thought to be contributing factors, as is increased human activity, such as shifting agricultural and new infrastructure projects, which result in large-scale tree cutting. It’s worth noting that these seven sisters constitute only around 8% of India’s total land area, but they account for over 24% of the country’s entire forest cover.

Governments Initiatives

National Mission for a Green India

It is one of the National Action Plan on Climate Change’s eight missions (NAPCC).

It was established in February 2014 to protect our country’s biological resources and associated livelihoods from the dangers of climate change, as well as recognise the critical role of forestry in biodiversity conservation, ecological sustainability, and water, food, and livelihood security.

National Afforestation Programme:

It has been used to reforest degraded forest lands from the year 2000.

The MoEFCC is in charge of implementing it.

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority, (CAMPA Funds)

The fund was established in 2016, with 90% of the funds going to the states and 10% going to the Centre.

The funds can be used for catchment area treatment, village relocation from protected areas, wildlife protection and management, assisted natural generation, forest management, training and awareness generation, human-wildlife conflict management, supply and provision of wood-saving devices, and other related activities.

National Action Programme to Combat Desertification

It was written in 2001 to address the growing problem of desertification and to make necessary responses.

The Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Climate Change are in charge of implementing it.

It was written in 2001 to address the growing problem of desertification and to make necessary responses.

The Ministry of Forestry, Environment and Climate Change are in charge of implementing it.

The Forest Fire Prevention and Management Scheme (FFPM) is a government-run programme that aims to prevent forest fires. It is the only federally financed programme dedicated solely to assisting states in the fight against forest fires.

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UPSC Exam Preparation: Environment

#Newspapers should be read on a regular basis.

#Environmental topics were extracted from the newspaper.

#Try to build a conceptual knowledge foundation around important environmental news that you read.

#Your goal should be to combine static and dynamic elements.

#From the standpoint of the mains, you must focus on the prelims.

#NCERT books for general science and geography basics and fundamentals are listed above.

#When reading from NCERT books, choose just the chapters that are directly related to Environment, Ecology, Biodiversity, and Climate Change.

#The most important chapters of the NCERT book should be consulted for terms and definitions.

#Certain terms connected to the environment, such as issues, organisations, treaties, published reports,  and so on, must be taken into consideration.

Some More Points

#By gathering relevant information and current concerns relating to the above-mentioned terminology, you must create a note of them.

#To prepare appropriately, you must understand the nature of questions from previous year’s papers.

#Multiple-choice questions should be practised. It will assist you in reviewing your information and revising anything you’ve learned.

#You must keep up with all current environmental issues on a national and worldwide level.

#To preserve a hold on concepts and learning, answer writing exercises should be done on a regular basis.

#To keep your learning intact, practise mock exams.

For Geography

Try to relate the static component of the Geography course with current events if you’re a smart applicant. There will be a lot of news and editorials that are directly related to the topic. As a result, keeping up with current events through publications (The Indian Express/The Hindu) is unavoidable.

Make it a practice to scribble down significant topics as you’re preparing. Having self-prepared notes will help you save time in the days leading up to the exam. Also, make it a habit to review everything you’ve learned on a regular basis. It will assist you in remembering knowledge for a longer amount of time.

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Some More Tips

Maps are an important part of Geography, and most of the questions are related to them, either directly or indirectly. As a result, in order to get good grades, you must have a solid understanding of map locations (both in India and around the world).

Refer to the questions from the previous year. You’ll get a good notion of the types of questions posed in the prior year’s exams if you do this. It will also assist you in focusing more on the exam’s frequently questioned topics.

Some Books

Certificate Physical and Human Geography by Goh Cheng Lehong

India: A Comprehensive Geography by D R Khullar

Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Models in Geography by Majid Husain

Geographical Thought by R D Dixit


Begin your IAS Exam preparation by thoroughly comprehending the UPSC Syllabus and devising a strategy based on it.

Keep yourself up to date with the latest UPSC articles and blogs, where we explain the key news and latest topics in an easy-to-understand manner.

Also Read: Fastest Hypersonic Cruise Missile in the World: Must-Know Things for UPSC IAS Preparation

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ISFR Report 2021 UPSC: Preparation for Geography or Environment Topic for UPSC Exam
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has released the latest version of India's State of Forest Report 2021. Let’s learn more about it for UPSC preparation.
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