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| Last Updated:: 17/07/2013

Forest

The Forests and biodiversity in UP are important in many ways: as source of fuel and fodder, as source if industrial inputs, habitat for thousands of plant and animal species, as carbon sink, and as a protective cover for its soils. Forests are also important as they provide several ecosystem services. Bifurcation of Uttaranchal State from UP in 2000 has reduced the number of ecological zones in UP to three (Terai, the Gangetic plains, Vindhyan rages) from the earlier six. There are three major forest types in UP viz. tropical moist deciduous, tropical dry deciduous and tropical thorn forests. These forests are spread over in the Northern, Northeastern and Southern parts of the state. While the Terai region has mostly moist tropical forests of sal, Eastern UP has dry deciduous mixed forest, Eastern and Western UP generally have teak or mixed forest, and the Budelkhand region is covered widely with thorny scrub forests.

Miscellaneous Statistics

 Comparative Picture of recorded forest area in previous Years in U.P. Economic regionwise geographical area, recored forest area, covered forest area (1998-99) and population (1991) in U.P.

Region Geographical area Recored forest area Covered Forest area Population ('000')
Total Under Forest Deptt. Total Per Sq. Km.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Uttranchal % 53,343 34,985 24,312 22,658 7,051 132
Uttranchal %   65.58 45.58 42.58 - -
Paschime % 80,226 3,701 3,672 2,595 48,423 604
Western %   4.61 4.58 3.23 - -
Kendriy % 45,808 2,343 2,343 1,432 24,187 528
Central %   5.11 5.11 3.13 - -
Poorvi % 85,586 8,803 8,773 5,714 52,722 616
Eastern %   10.29 10.25 6.68 - -
Bundelkhand % 29.478 2,298 2,276 1,595 6,729 228
Bundelkhand%   7.79 7.72 5.41 - -
Yog % 294,441 52,129 41,376 34,050 139,112 472
Total %   17.70 14.05 11.56 - -

 

Source: http://envfor.nic.in

  1.  Forest > Status

Forest and Tree Cover

According to official statistics, forests in UP occupy 7 percent of geographical area. After the bifurcation of the state into up and Uttarachal, per captia forest and tree cover is 0.01 ha where as the national average is 0.06 ha. Sixteen to the 70 districts in UP account for most (75.7%) of forest area. These sixteen Districts account for only 25.7 percent of states geographical area, but have 71.7 percent of dense forest and 83.2 percent of states scrub land. As these figures suggest, these districts are of high priority concern for forest and biodiversity conservation in the state.

 


Year
% age of forest area to total reported area
Uttar Pradesh All India
1950-51 10.9 14.2
1960-61 12.9 18.1
1970-71 16.6 21.0
1980-81 17.2 22.2
1990-91 17.3 22.3
2000-01 17.5
(1999-00)
22.6
(1999-00)

 
Source: http://planning.up.nic.in

Legal status, dense and open forests

The latest satellite imagery data (FSI, 2001) shows that UP actually has only 13746  km2 under forest cover which is 5.7 percent of states geographical area. As per legal categorization7, 65.9 percent of the forest area is reserved forest, 14.4 percent is protected forest and 19.7 percent is unclassified forest. The dense forest cover (canopy over over 40%) is estimated at 8965 km2 and the rest is open forest with canopy cover less than 40 percent.

Expenditure and Revenue From Forests

During 1996-97, forests in UP produced 185737 cubic meters of timber, 53483 tons of fuel wood and 166120 tons of tendu leaves (used to wrap bidi, a traditional type of cigarette. Expenditure on forest conservation is higher than the direct economic benefits derived from major forest product. However, it is to be noted that the revenue estimates do not take into account the benefits derived by the poor from forests and also do not capture the ecosystem service benefits provided by them.

Forest Cover and Protected Areas in UP

 


Geographical area of UP
240928 km2
Recorded forest area 16986 km2
Forest cover (assessed through satellite imagery) 13746 km2
Tree cover in culturable non forest areas 7545 km2
Total forest and tree cover 21291 km2
Percent forest area to geographical area 7
Percent forest cover to geographical area 5.7
Percent forest and tree cover to geographical area 8.8
National Parks 1
Wildlife Sanctuaries 23

 
Source: Environment Monitor, Uttar Pradesh

District-wise Forest Cover (Uttar Pradesh)

 


Number of Districts: 70
 

District Geographic Area Forest Cover
Very Dense Moderately Dense Open Forest Total Forest Percent Change
Agra 4,027 - 74 199 273 6.78 16
Aligarh 3,650 - 6 49 55 1.51 14
Allahabad 5,137 - 28 69 97 1.89 -64
Ambedkar Nagar 2,337 - 2 32 34 1.45 -185
Azamgarh 4,234 `- 1 30 31 0.73 -15
Bagpat 1,321 - 4 11 15 1.14 -3
Bahraich & Shravasti 6,878 210 294 347 851 12.37 -58
Balrampur 3,349 144 253 135 532 15.89 35
Balia 2,981 - - 23 23 0.77 13
Banda 4,532 - 27 76 103 2.27 -80
Barabanki 4,402 - 4 82 86 1.95 -4
Bareilly 4,120 - 7 36 43 1.04 9
Basti 2,688 - 6 12 18 0.67 13
Bijnore 4,561 42 252 129 423 9.27 36
Badaun 5,168 - 16 26 42 0.81 12
Bulandshahar 2,910 - 35 81 116 3.99 32
Chandauli 2,549 - 190 327 519 20.36 44
Chitrakoot 3,092 - 346 208 554 17.92 73
Deoria 2,538 - 1 16 17 0.67 1
Etah 4,446 - 8 81 89 2.00 -9
Etawa 2,311 - 46 139 185 8.01 -12
Faizabad 2,174 - 5 51 56 2.58 11
Farrukhabad 2,181 - 13 32 45 2.06 9
Fatehpur 4,152 - 6 36 42 1.01 -12
Firozabad 2,361 - 5 39 44 1.86 1
Gautam Buddh Nagar 1,442 - 12 23 35 2.43 18
Ghaziabad 2,590 - 17 26 43 1.66 -73
Ghazipur 3,377 - 4 43 47 1.39 31
Gonda 4,003 1 59 47 107 2.67 -4
Gorakhpur 3,321 - 40 25 65 1.96 27
Hamirpur 4,282 - 67 111 178 4.16 47
Hardoi 5,986 - 7 118 125 2.09 44
Hathras 1,840 - 1 24 25 1.36 -5
Jyotiba Phule Nagar 2,249 - 30 52 82 3.65 6
Jalaun 4,565 - 68 179 247 5.41 11
Jaunpur 4,038 - 13 42 55 1.36 19
Jhansi 5,024 - 34 168 202 4.02 26
Kannauj 2,093 - - 29 29 1.39 19
Kanpur Nagar & Dehat 6,176 - 16 97 113 1.83 -105
Kaushambi 2,124 - 9 22 31 1.46 28
Kheri 7,680 366 502 446 1,314 17.11 -149
Kushinagar 2,906 - 4 30 34 1.17 25
Lalitpur 5,039 - 146 426 572 11.35 14
Lucknow 2,528 - 115 183 298 11.79 169
Maharajganj 2,952 202 141 118 461 15.62 17
Mahoba 2,884 - 20 74 94 3.26 12
Mainpuri 2,760 - 1 15 16 0.58 -33
Mathura 3,340 - 7 54 61 1.83 8
Mau 1,713 - 1 17 18 1.05 15
Meerut 2,590 - 30 32 62 2.39 -110
Mirzapur 4,521 - 316 466 782 17.30 151
Moradabad 3,718 - 4 21 25 0.67 8
Muzaffarnagar 4,008 - 13 27 40 1.00 0
Oraiya 2,015 - 10 59 69 3.42 -2
Piliphit 3,499 290 204 203 697 19.92 13
Pratapgarh 3,717 - 28 67 95 2.56 57
Rai Bareli 4,609 - 6 91 97 2.10 34
Rampur 2,367 3 20 49 72 3.04 -13
Saharanpur 3,689 - 147 224 371 10.06 82
Sant Kabir Nagar 1,646 - - 2 2 0.12 2
Sant Ravidas Nagar 1,015 - - 1 1 0.10 1
Shahjahanpur 4,575 20 54 44 118 2.58 9
Siddharth Nagar 2,895 - 10 29 39 1.35 -35
Sitapur 5,743 - 15 201 216 3.76 -132
Sonbhadra 6,788 17 846 1,606 2,469 36.37 -28
Sultanpur 4,436 - 18 157 175 3.94 87
Unnao 4,558 - 34 197 231 5.07 193
Varanasi 1,528 - 1 11 12 0.79 11
Total 240,928 1,297 4,699 8,122 14,118 5.86 372

 
Source: http://envfor.nic.in

Major forested districts of UP in 2001 (area in sq.km)
 

District 1 Geographical Area
2
Dense forest
3
Open Forest
4
Total (3+4) 5 As % of 2 6 Scrub 7
Sonbhadra 6788 1221 1276 2497 36.79 51
Kheri 7680 1113 350 1463 19.05 1
Bahraich 6878 642 267 909 13.22 15
Philibhit 3499 488 196 684 19.55 0
Mirzapur 4521 198 433 631 13.96 33
Lalitpur 5039 231 327 558 11.07 55
Balrampur 3349 437 60 497 14.84 2
Gorakhpur 3321 385 97 482 14.51 0
Chitrkoot 3092 301 180 481 15.56 39
Chandauli 2549 186 289 475 18.63 7
Bijnor 4561 311 76 387 8.48 4
Sitapur 5743 332 16 348 6.06 2
Saharanpur 3689 151 138 289 7.83 0
Agra 4027 112 145 257 6.38 56
Jalaun 4565 109 127 236 5.17 46
Ambedkar Nagar 2337 219 0 219 9.37 0
Total for 16 districts 71638 6436 3977 10413   311

 
Source: Environment Monitor, Uttar Pradesh

Causes For Forest Loss And Degradation:

UP has just over 7 percent of land area under forests, compared to about 23 percent in the country. The stated goal of MoEF is to bring 33 percent of Indias land area under forest and tree cover. UP needs more forests to provide sufficient ecosystem services. Moreover, intensive agricultural practices, increasing demand for fuel wood, fodder, non timber forest product (NTFP) and conversion of forest land for development purposed lead to forest loss and habitat fragmentation and degradation.

Increasing demand for timber

Timber demand in UP has increased by 59 percent (from 3.65 million cu.m in 1988 to 5.81 million cu.m in 2001) and is expected to increase at the same rate during the next decade and a half. However, timber productivity is falling and much more forestland will be required even to maintain the current levels of supply.

Increasing livestock pressure

Land, forests and biological resources are under pressure from increasing livestock. The livestock population in undivided UP rose from 63 million in 1982 to around 75 million by 1993. The estimated livestock population of UP (excluding Uttaranchal) is around 65.2 million in 2001. Table 18 shows that on average there are more than 270 livestock per sq. km in UP and the highest density of livestock population is in the Western region (300) and the lowest in is Bundelkhand region. Table 19 gives a more precise measure of livestock density by focusing on the livestock numbers and the area under pasture/other grazing lands. The Eastern region remains the most pressurised region but  the growth of pressure has been highest in Western UP over that last 25 years.

Livestock population trends in undivided UP (million)
 


Livestock/Poultry
1982 1988 % Annual growth 1993 % Annual growth
Cattle 26.15 26.3 0.11 25.63 -0.51
Buffalo 15.78 18.25 3.13 20.08 2.01
Sheep 2.3 2.18 -1.04 2.4 2.02
Goat 9.68 11.32 3.39 13.1 3.14
Poultry Others 9.13 11.8 5.85 13.68 3.19
Total 63.04 69.85 2.16 74.89 1.44

 

Source: Environment Monitor, Uttar Pradesh

OBSERVATIONS & INTERVENTIONS:

  • Forest cover in U.P. at present is abysmally low, effective dense cover being under 4%. For meeting human and animal needs, sustaining agricultural growth, maintaining ecological balance, preserving soil health and improving water regimes this cover needs to be increased to at least 20% over next two decades.
  • The State has nearly 7.4 million ha of various types of degraded lands which include ravines and usar, water-logged, riverine and other soil erosion affected lands. A substantial part of these can and should be recovered for tree cover and grasslands.
  • Protecting existing forest cover and increasing its density should be high priority areas of policy and action. Greater efforts are needed for preventing forest fires.
  • Social forestry, farm forestry and tree planting on road, river rail and canal banks can substantially increase tree cover.
  • Operation Green needs to be more vigorously and intensively implemented.
  • While JFM has, in principle been accepted as a strong policy component, its ground level progress is still slow, halting and limited in reach. Similarly Forest Development Agencies have yet to be activised and made effective. A wide-based participative people centred approach, accepted as policy, remains to be operationalised. JFM needs to be strengthened and consolidated through expanding group number networking them for experience sharing and ensuring ad3equated benefit sharing. Womens participation is a must for JFM success.
  • Production levels of many types of forest product have been falling while euclyptus, and shisham have recorded increases fall is considerable in teak, khair, sal fuel wood, bamboo and bhaber grass. Productivity is low both in major and minor forest products.
  • Protection of wild life must remain an area of high priority.
  • Traditional knowledge and skills need to be documented and this information disseminated.
  • Grazing must be regulated in terms of capacities and sustained grassland yields.
  • R & D inputs need to be organized, improved and consolidated and their effective uses at the field level ensured. Forest administration must shift from revenue and regulation to extension and stake-holder participation orientation.
  • Forest data accuracy in time series modes is important for medium and long term forestry planning. Interdepartmental and interagency co-ordination is another must.
  • Encroachments have to be firmly removed and such land restored to State or community owned forests.

     
  1. Forest > Strategy & Policy

 

RECENT POLICY AND OTHER INITIATIVES

Uttar Pradesh has enacted various Act and Laws (as different from Central Laws) to conserve the forest and biodiversity resources and to regulate their use. The important among them being UP Tendu Patta Niyamawali 1972; UP Wildlife (Protection) Act 1974; The Panchayat Forest Act 1976; The UP  Resin and other Forest Producs (Regulation of Trade Rule) 1976; and UP Tree Protection Act 1976. It is significant to note that the control of reserve forest land, civil land and Van Panchayat land is vested with the UP Forest Department, Revenue Department and Van Panchayats respectively. There is a need to streamline different regulations and approaches to forest management under various categories of land vested with different authorities.

Social forestry, farm forestry and agro forestry

The most viable options of increasing the green cover in the state are social forestry in degraded areas, farm forestry, and agro-forestry. As a part of its afforestation program, the Department of Forests has focused on agro forestry and social forestry as a means of enhancing the green cover in the state.

Operation green

Operation Green, a major programme of UP, involves stakeholder participation at various levels in an effort in increase the green over. The active involvement of different government departments is mandatory. The concerns concerned departments have been requested to earmark part of their departmental budget for increasing the green cover. The state government has increase the allocation of resources for this program in the last two years. However, no evaluation studies have been carried out for Operation Green.

Tree plantations in vacant lands and around buildings

A special Government Order has been released asking various departments to initiate tree plantation efforts in the available vacant lands in their possession and the free spaces around their buildings.

Joint forest management

Programs for joint forest management involving user communities have been evolved and forest laws in this regard have been framed in the form of the Uttar Pradesh Village Forests Joint Management Rules 1997. As on March 1, 2002, 50703 ha of land is under JFM controlled by 540 Forest Protection Committees (JFM Monitoring Cell, MoEF, Delhi).

The National Forest Policy envisages 33% forest cover for the country as a whole (66% in hills and 20% in Plains). It empahsises environmental stability, preservation and restoration of forests, increasing forest cover, social orestry, joint forest management (JFM) and people's participation UP' forest poicy of 1998 has similar objectives, stresses increasing forest density and productivity, retrieving of degraded lands for tree cover, farm-forestry, making fuelwood available to weaker sections in rural areas, protecting floral and faunal biodiversity, looking for alternatives to uses of wood, promoting small wood based crafts and industries within available resource limits. JFM and the taking up of forestry as mass movement. Ecological balance is its essential objective.