Forest Resources Assessment Programme Working Paper 78/e rome



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Summary 
 
(This is a draft version of the working paper. The summary will be provided in the final version) 
 

 
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Abbreviations 
 
AG 
Advisory Group to FRA 
C&I 
Criteria and Indicators (for Sustainable Forest Management) 
COFO 
Committee on Forestry, the main statutory body of the FAO 
Forestry Department, meeting every second year in Rome 
CSO 
Central Statistical Organization 
FAO 
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 
FRA 
The FAO-led Global Forest Resources Assessment 
FRA 2000 
Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000, see 
www.fao.org/forestry/fra2000report
 
FRA 2005 
Global Forest Resources Assessment update 2005, see 
www.fao.org/forestry/fra2005
  
FSI 
Forest Survey of India 
GOI 
Government of India 
ICFRE 
Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education 
MOEF 
Ministry of Environment and Forests 
NFAP 
National Forestry Action Plan 
NC 
National Correspondent to FRA 
NSS 
National Sample Survey Organization 
SFM Sustainable 
Forest 
Management 
WII 
Wildlife Institute of India 
 

 
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1. Introduction 
 
 
This section introduces the purposes of the document, provides background of global Forest 
Resource Assessments, presents objectives of country report and finally the process of 
development of information at national level. 
 
1.1  Purpose of this document 
 
This working paper presents country report of India as a part of input to global Forest Resource 
Assessment (FRA) process of FAO especially to FRA 2005, an update to FRA 2000 (FAO, 
2001). It contains complete information on all the sixteen global reporting tables, six thematic 
areas and brief information on the “Review of sustainability of forests in India” (option E) 
following “Guidelines for Country Reporting” (FRA Working Paper No. 73a).  
 
1.2  Background to FRA 2005 
 
Global forest resources assessments have been carried out by FAO since 1948 that is practically 
since FAO was created. The mandate for such assessments stems both from the basic statues of 
FAO (FAO 2003a), and to guidance given by member countries, most significantly at sessions of 
the Committee on Forestry “COFO” (
www.fao.org/forestry/cofo
).  
The Kotka IV expert consultation in July 2002 (
www.fao.org/forestry/kotka4
) defined the scope 
and approach of future FRAs and recommended that they should be structured along the 
framework of “Criteria” common to the nine regional processes on Criteria and Indicators (C&I) 
for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM). This recommendation has been reinforced by the 
international conference on C&I for SFM in February 2003 (
www.fao.org/forestry/crit-ind
) and 
COFO in March 2003. This development represents a strong move to establish linkages between 
politically defined C&I and technically specified FRA. This helps to define the objective of the 
global FRA more clearly to make it possible to review sustainability of forests at the global level.  
 
1.3  Objectives of country reporting in FRA 2005 
 
The objective for the  country reporting in FRA 2005 are three fold. First is to produce by 2005 a 
comprehensive update and refinement of FRA 2000, structured around the core set of global 
variables and the six common thematic areas (criteria) for sustainable forest management 
focussing on the trend information. The second is to involve national institutions, experts and 
other stakeholders in the collection, analyses and validation of national information to secure 
national ownership of results. The third is to report all information transparently and with 
complete documentation and analyses of  the source data.  

 
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Accordingly this country report (working paper) has following two distinct elements and 
associated reporting steps. It follows the format of a working paper as suggested by FAO in its 
“Guidelines for Country Reporting”(FRA Working Paper). 
 
 
Table 2:  Two Steps in Country Reporting 
 
Reporting step 
Contents 
1. National data for Global 
tables 
National Reporting Tables containing national data, transformation of national 
data to global data tables, preferably electronic, containing source references, 
source data, and reclassifications leading into estimates for the country for each 
global table. 
2. Country report by Thematic 
Areas   
Short report following a predefined outline that builds on the defined Thematic 
Areas (Criteria) of SFM. The report shall contain additional information relevant 
in the country for each Theme. 
1.4 National 
Information 
Development Process  
 
At the national level, the statistics wing in the Ministry of “Statistics and Programme 
Implementation” is the apex body for official statistical system of the country. For this purpose, 
its acts as a national nodal agency through one of its organization “Central Statistical 
Organization (CSO)”. CSO also deals with development of concepts, definitions, methodology of 
data collection, processing and dissemination. It is also responsible for development of national 
accounts. The Ministry also conducts large scale all-India sample surveys for collecting new field 
information through its another organization “National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO)” to 
create the database needed for studying the impact of specific problems for the benefit of 
different population groups. In addition to this there are specialized technical agencies work 
under respective ministries to provide specific technical information like Indian Space and 
Research Organization (ISRO) to provide remotely sensed information and Forest Survey of 
India to make use of both remotely sensed and ground inventory information to generate new 
information on the state of forests. 
 
Forest Survey of India (FSI) has been conducting such national assessments of forest resources, 
since its inception in 1965 as Pre-Investment Survey of Forest Resources. FSI initially used aerial 
photographs and ground inventory to assess forest resources but soon (early eighties) moved to 
remotely sensed satellite data. Since 1986, FSI is assessing forest cover on a two-year cycle and 
is releasing the findings to the public through its premium publication “State of Forest Report” 
(SFR). Its first assessment was published as SFR 1987 and the latest as SFR 2001. Every 
successive assessment has made improvement in methodology, resolution and techniques of 
interpretation. For example, the resolution of data in the first assessment was 80m x 80m, scale of 
interpretation was 1:1 million and the interpretation was totally manual while the latest 
assessment resolution was 23.5m x 23.5m, scale of interpretation was 1: 50,000 respectively and 
the assessment was totally digital. In addition to cover FSI also conducts special studies to 
provide information on growing stock of forests, tree cover of “Tress Outside Forests” and 
carbon stocks. FSI works as a lead, and nodal institution in India for forest resource assessment 
programme of FAO, facilitates collection of information on other variables and conducting 
special studies when required. It organizes two national level workshops of major stakeholders 

 
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and used group convergence method
1
 to provide updated and extended information for FRA 
2005. 
 
The Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), an autonomous body under the 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, is the apex national body on forestry 
research and education. In addition, it is mandated to compile and publish national forest 
statistics in its prime publication “Forestry Statistics”. Such last publication was “Forestry 
Statistics 2001”.  The scope of this publication includes area of forests, diversion of forest land, 
plantation, production, revenue and other management related information.  
 
Similarly, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), an autonomous body under the Ministry of 
Environment and Forests, Government of India, is the apex body on wildlife in India. It maintains 
National Wildlife database that deals with all the protected areas and biodiversity of wild life. 
The Directorate of Project Tiger,  under Ministry of Environment and Forests conducts once in 
three or four years a national census of tigers population. 
 
Land use statistics are primarily compiled from the village land records maintained 
at the local level by a government official. The information is recorded under nine categories:  (1) 
Forests, (2) Area under Non-Agricultural use, (3) Barren and uncultured land, (4) Permanent 
Pastures and other Grazing Land, (5) Miscellaneous Tree Crops (6) Culturable Waste Land, (7) 
Fallow Land other than Current Fallows, (8) Current Fallows, and (9) Net 
Area Sown. The ICFRE provides the compiled national information in its “Forestry Statistics”. 
Land use statistics are also collected through nationwide land use/cover mapping by National 
Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) a unit of ISRO according to its 22 fold classification.  
 
Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India are two scientific organizations under 
the Ministry of Environment and Forests which are responsible for generation of data of floral 
and faunal diversity respectively in the country. These organization take exploratory tours in 
different priority areas, hot spot, fragile echo systems in different parts of country. During these 
scientific studies they collect specimen of different species ( floral /faunal) and 
preserve some of them in the museums /Botanical Gardens or zoos etc. The documentation by 
these organizations is used for presenting data in the Compendium of Environment Statistics of 
CSO 
 
This working paper has mainly used five sources (CSO, NSS0, FSI, ICFRE and WII) to present 
the information contained in this reporting on the sixteen tables and six thematic areas.  
 
                                                 
1
 
Govil, K. 2002. Process of FRA 2005: Review of Sustainability. A paper presented to Advisory Group to Forest 
Resource Assessment, FAO, at Nairobi, Kenya, October 2002. 
 

 
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2.  National Reporting Tables 
 
The national data for sixteen global tables has been provided through following sixteen National 
Reporting Tables (Annex 2) contained in the working papers n. 73a and b. 
  
Table 3 National Reporting Tables 
 
No. 
Title of the Table 
Unit of data 
Global Variables (Number of Variables) 

Extent of Forests 
000 ha 
Forests, Other Wooded Land, Other land with Trees, Other Land,  
Inland Water. (5) 

Ownership 
000 ha 
Public, Private , Other or unspecified (3) 

Designation 
000 ha 
Production Forests, Protective forests, Conservation Forests, Social 
Services Forests, Multiple Objective Forests, Protective other 
Wood Lands, Conservation Other Wooded Lands, Social Services 
Other Wooded lands, Multiple Objective Other Wooded Lands. (9) 

Characteristics 
000 ha 
Primary Forests, Modified Forests, Semi-natural Forests, 
Productive Forest Plantation, Protective Forest Plantation, Primary 
“Other Wooded Land, Modified “Other Wooded Land”, Semi-
natural “Other Wooded Land”, Protective “Other Wooded Land” 
Plantation. (9) 
5 Forest 
Growing 
Stock 
million 
Cubic M 
Growing Stock, Commercial Growing Stock .(2) 

Forest Biomass  
million 
Metric T 
(Oven Dry ) 
Woody Biomass, Above Ground Tree Biomass, Below Ground 
Tree Biomass. (3) 
7 Forest 
Carbon  million 
Metric T 
Carbon in Woody Biomass, Carbon in Above Ground Tree 
Biomass, Carbon in Below Ground Tree Biomass, Soil Carbon (4) 
8 Disturbances 
to 
Health and Vitality 
of Forests 
000 ha 
Forest Fires, Forest Insects, Forest Diseases. (3) 

Forest Tree Species  Number 
Inventoried Forest Tree Species, Endangered Forest Tree Species 
(2) 
10 
Forest Composition  million Cub 

Growing stock of each of the ten most frequent species and 
combined growing stock of the rest. (11) 
11 
Wood Removal 
000 Cubic 

Industrial Round Wood, Wood Fuel. (2) 
12 Value 
of 
Primary 
Wood Supply 
National 
Currency 
Value of Industrial Round Wood, Value of Wood Fuel. (2) 
13 
NWFP Removal 
Metric T 
NWFP removal under each of the 18 groups of NWFP (1) 
14 
Value of NWFP 
National 
Currency 
Value of NWFP supply  under 18 groups of NWFP (1) 
15 Sites 
for 
Social 
Functions 
Number in 
000 
Sites for Social Function, Visitors. (2) 
16 Employment 
through Primary 
Activities 
Million 
Person 
Years 
Employment through Industrial Round Wood Supply,  Wood Fuel 
Supply, NWFP Collection, Silvicultural Activities, Other Primary 
Activities (5) 
 

 
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T1. Extent 
of 
Forests 
and Other Wooded Lands 
 
The information on “extent of forests” is necessary for assessment of state and change in forest 
resources (including goods and services provided by forests) on a global basis. It helps to develop 
trends of expansion or deforestation of forests and review the sustainability of forests. It 
facilitates establishing links between national and global classification of extent of forests.  
 
A. Global Classification and Definitions (FRA 2005) 
 
Forest
 
Land under forestry or no land use, spanning more than 0.5 hectares; with trees higher 
than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 percent, or trees able to reach these 
thresholds in situ.  
Other Wooded Land
 
Land under forestry or no land use, spanning more than 0.5 hectares; with trees higher 
than 5 meters and a canopy cover of 5-10 percent, or trees able to reach these 
thresholds in situ; or with a combined cover of shrubs, bushes and trees above 10 
percent.  
Other Land with Tree 
Cover
 
The lands primarily not under forests having more than 0.5 hectares with a canopy 
cover of more than 10 percent of trees able to reach a height of 5 m at maturity. It 
includes trees outside forests. 
Other Land
 
Land not classified as “forest”, “other wooded land” or “other land with tree cover”. 
Inland Water bodies
 
Inland water bodies generally include major rivers and lakes. 
Source: FAO. 2004. Terms and Definition FRA-2005. FRA Working paper 73. Rome 
 
B. National Data Sources 
 
Forest Survey of India (FSI) is an Government of India organization under the Ministry of 
Environment & Forests. Since 1965, it is regularly conducting assessment of forest resources at 
an interval of about 2 years and publishing the information in the “State of Forest Report” (SFR). 
Following SFRs form the basis of information for this global table. 
 
Information 
Year 
Source 
1990 
SFR, 1993. State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment 
and Forests, Government of India. 
1992 
SFR, 1995. State of Forest Resources 1995. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment 
and Forests, Government of India. 
1994 
SFR, 1997. State of Forest Resources 1997. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment 
and Forests, Government of India. 
1997 
SFR, 1999. State of Forest Resources 1999. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment 
and Forests, Government of India. 
2000 
SFR, 2001. State of Forest Resources, 2001. Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment 
and Forests, Government of India. 
 
The first SFR was published as SFR 1987 using 1981-83 remotely sensed images and the latest 
published report is SFR 2001, which used satellite images for the year 2000.  Each successive 
assessment used better quality of data with higher resolution and scale and with more intensive 
ground verification and by using superior techniques of interpretation. While in the first 

 
8 (114) 
assessment, resolution of data used was 80m x 80m and scale of interpretation was 1:1 million 
the same in the last assessment is 23.5m x 23.5m and 1:50,000, respectively. 
 
C. National Classification and Definitions  
  
The following table provides the classification and sub-classification and their definitions in use 
at Forest Survey of India, Ministry of Environment and Forest, India.  
 
Forest Cover
 
Al lands, more than one hectare in area, with a tree canopy density of more than 
10percent. Such lands may not be statutorily notified as forest area. 
Dense Forest 
All lands, with a forest cover with canopy density of 40 percent and above. 
Open Forest 
All lands, with forest cover with canopy density of 10 to 40 percent. 
Mangrove Cover 
(Forests) Area covered under mangrove vegetation as interpreted digitally from 
remote sensing data. It is also classified into dense cover (canopy density more than 
40 percent) and open cover (canopy density from 10 to 40 percent). 
Mangrove 
Salt tolerant forest ecosystem found mainly in tropical and sub-tropical coastal and/or 
inter-tidal regions. 
Scrub
 
All lands, generally in and around forest areas, having bushes and or poor tree growth 
chiefly small or stunted trees with canopy density less than 10 percent. 
Trees Outside Forests
 
Tree wealth existing outside recorded Forest Areas 
Tree Cover  
Notional land area, covered by crown of trees, that is small (less than 1 hectare) to 
be delineated by digital interpretation of remote sensing data of forest cover. 
Non Forest Land
 
Lands without any forest cover. 
(Source: SFR 2001) 
 
D. National Data 
 
The following table presents the national data on forest cover in India. This information has been 
respective State of Forest Report (SFR) developed by FSI as mentioned in the note below the 
table. 
 
Land Cover in “000” ha 
Categories  
 
1990 1992 1994 1997 2000 
Forests 
63938.600 63887.900 63339.700 63729.300 67553.800 
Non Forest 
 
 
 
 
 
 (i) Scrub 
5894.300 6052.000 5270.000 5189.600 4731.800 
 (ii) Other Non Forest 
258893.400 258786.400 260116.600 259807.400 256440.700 
Total (Country Area) 
328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 
Note: 
1. Other non forest area includes 31407 (000 ha)of Inland water bodies and 8147 (000 ha) of Tree cover in blocks of 
less than 1 hectare as mentioned in SFR 2001 
 
FSI, includes area of  TOF (Trees out side recorded forests) (10.485 million ha) occurring in 
blocks of more than 1 hectare and canopy cover more than 10 percent under “forest” cover.  It 
does not provide data on the land use on which TOF exists.  
 
Similarly, FSI assess that TOF (Trees outside recorded forest areas”, occurring in blocks of less 
than 1 hectare, cover about 8.147 million ha. and calls it “tree cover”. The area is notional 
(statistical) in nature because it has been computed based on notional density of trees per hectare 
to provide a canopy cover of more than 70 percent. The FSI does not include this in its  land 

 
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cover estimates. In reality, this area at places may be more than 0.5 ha and at other places below 
0.5 ha. It is assumed that at least 10 percent of this notional area consist of blocks greater than 0. 
5 hectares i.e. can be classified as “Other land with trees” of FRA 2005.  
 
FSI does not provide area of  “Inland Water bodies” and includes it with the Non-Forest Area. 
The figures of total area of the country by FSI and UN Statistical Division perfectly match (see 
section “E”), hence, the area figures of 31.407 million ha. of “Inland Water bodies” with UN 
division will be used as national data. This figure is same 1990 and 2000, therefore same figure is 
being assumed for 2005. 
 
E. Calibration 
 
The land area figures for the whole country match (see  below) with the land area figure with UN 
Statistical Division at New York USA. Hence no need to calibrate the national data.  
 
Agency  
Total Land Area of the country in “000”ha 
 
1990 1992 1994 1997 2000 
FSI, India 
328726.300  328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 
UN 
Statistical 
Division 
328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 328726.300 
 
 
F. Estimation and Forecasting 
 
The FSI provides information for 1990 and 2000 therefore there is no need for estimating figures 
for 1990 and 2000. The figures for 2005 were forecasted using regression estimates.  
 
Category of Land cover 
Forecasted Land cover in 2005 (“000”ha) 
Forests 67700.518 
Scrub 4110.390 
 
 
G. Reclassification into FRA 2005 Classes 
 
Table: Reclassification (Percentage allocation) into FRA 2005 classes (excluding Inland water) 
National Land use 
Percentage of a National class belonging to a FRA Class 
Classes Forests 
Other Wooded 
Land 
Other Land 
with Tree Cover 
Other Land 
Forests  
100 
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