Increased urbanisation, industrialisation and rehabilitation does not shrink forestsday-by-day.
According to the India State of Forest Report 2009, based upon the biennial assessment by Forest Survey of India, there is an increase in the forest cover of the country from 690171 square km in 2005 to 690899 square km in 2007.
The Ministry diverts the forest land mainly for the purpose of defence, health, drinking water, irrigation, railway, roads etc.
The Ministry of Environment & Forests is implementing a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Afforestation Programme (NAP) Scheme for regeneration of degraded forests and adjoining areas in the country. The scheme is being implemented through a decentralized mechanism of State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at State level, Forest Development Agency (FDA) at Forest Division level and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) at village level. As on 31.10.2011, 800 FDA projects have been approved in 28 States in the country to treat an area of 18.32 lakh ha. since inception of the scheme in 2002.
Beside NAP, following steps have been taken are being taken to increase the forest cover in the country:
· 13th Finance Commission has recommended Rs. 5000 crore for five years starting from 2010-11 for conservation and development of forests.
· Additional Central assistance of Rs. 81.66 Crore has been released to the States during 2009-10 for Restoration and Regeneration of Forest Cover.
· Tree planting is also an approved activity under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), and other schemes of Central and State Governments.
· The national mission for a Green India has been launched, as on of the eight Mission under the National Action Plan on Climate Change. The Mission focuses on enhancing ecosystem services and carbon sink through afforestation and ecorestoration of 10 million ha. of forest and non forest lands over 12th and 13th Plan period.