Forest Resources Assessment Programme Working Paper 78/e rome



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3.1.1.3 Source and Source Data  
 
Following table indicates sources of data for the additional variables.  
 
Additional Variable   Information Year  Source 
Recorded Forest Area 
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. 
Diversion of 
Recorded Forest Area 
1990 
Forestry Statistics, 2000. Indian Council Of Forestry Research 
and Education. Dehradun, India 
 1998 
Forestry Statistics, 2000. Indian Council Of Forestry Research 
and Education. Dehradun, India 
Open and Dense 
Forest Cover 
1990 
SFR, 1993 State of Forest Resources 1993. 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. 
Trees Outside Forests 
1990 
Pilot Study Forest Survey of India, 2003 
 2000 
Pilot Study Forest Survey of India, 2003 
Forest under 
Management Plans 
1987 
SFR, 1987, State of Forest Resources 1987. Forest Survey of 
India, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of 
India. 
 
2000 
Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India cited 
in Pilot study by FSI 
 
3.1.1.4 Additional Data: Area of Recorded Forest  
 
This section provides information on each of the identified additional variables. It contains 
relevant definitions, source and source data, temporal trends and its assessment. 

 
58 (114) 
 
In India, “forest” also has legal identity and is an “area” (with boundary and extent) of land 
recorded as “forest” in revenue (government) land records or legally notified as “forest” under 
Indian Forest Act and or any other law (Act) relating to forests. Such lands are referred as 
“recorded forests” and they may and may not contain any “forest”. Due to this the physical 
“recorded area of such forests” at the ground level is not always same as “area of identified 
patches of forest cover”. The identification of smaller patches depends on the resolution of  
camera with satellites and the scale of mapping.  The Indian Forest Acts classifies the “forest 
areas” into three categories (“Reserved Forest”, “Protected Forest” and “Unclassed Forest”). 
Currently, the recorded forest area is 768,436 km
2
 containing 423,311 km
2
 of Reserved Forests, 
217,245 km
2
 of Protected Forests and the rest is 127,882 km
2
 of Unclassed Forest.  
 
Definition 
 
Terms Definition 
Recorded Forests  
Any land (including inland water bodies) recorded as “forests” in revenue records 
(land use and ownership) of government. 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal Trend  
 
Following figures present the temporal data on recorded forest area in India.  
 
Figure 1: Trend in Recorded Forest Area 
Trend in Recorded Forest Area
76,843.60
76,525.30
76,521.00
76,521.00
77,007.80
76400
76500
76600
76700
76800
76900
77000
77100
1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
Years
A
rea i
n
 "
0
00"
 h
a
 
 
Assessment 
 
The recorded forest area is increasing after a decline in 1992 and is approaching level of 1990. 
The trend of change is positive and indicates societal support and is a healthy trend. 
 

 
59 (114) 
 
3.1.1.5 Additional Data: Open and Closed Forest Cover  
 
Sustenance and development of a society depends to a large extent on the judicious management 
of its natural resources - renewable as well as non-renewable. Therefore, it is  essential to ensure 
sustainability of forests resources on a regular basis. Periodic assessment of “forest cover” 
(National Reporting Table No. 1) i.e. monitoring of forest cover (above 10 percent crown 
density) is necessary but is not sufficient. It is equally important to see how the composition of 
forest cover by crown density classes is changing over time. India considers that to initiate efforts 
in this directions it is necessary to observe over time the ratio of “Dense” (more than 40 percent 
crown density) to “Open” ( 10 to 40 percent crown density) forest cover and later to increase 
more categories like adding “close” (40 to 70 percent crown density) and modifying “dense” 
(more than 70 percent crown density) forest cover etc.  
 
Definitions 
 
Terms Definition 
Dense Forest 
All lands with a forest cover with canopy density of 40 percent and above. 
Open Forest 
All lands with a forest cover with a canopy density of 10 to 40 percent. 
 
Transformation Not necessary 
 
Data and Temporal Trend  
 
Following figure presents data and the temporal trend in relative composition of forest cover. 
 
Trend of Ratio of Dense to Open Forest Cover
1.56
1.61
1.55
1.56
1.57
1.58
1.59
1.6
1.61
1.62
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Year
R
a
ti
o of
 D
e
ns
e
 t
o
 O
p
e
n
 
F
o
rest
 C
o
ver
 
 
Assessment  
 
The share of dense forest cover is increasing which is a good sign for the sustenance of forest 
resources. 

 
60 (114) 
 
3.1.1.6 Additional Data: Area of Forest diverted for “Non-Forest Purposes” 
 
The scarcity of land in India leads to the official diversion of public forest land (recorded forest 
area) for “non-forest purposes” for taking up development activities (major irrigation dams, 
mining, and laying of transmission lines etc.) and meeting social objectives (rehabilitation of 
people) including shifting cultivation.  This variable is an essential and important variable as it 
has direct link with ‘extent of forests’.  
 
Terms Definition 
Diversion of 
Recorded 
Forest Area for 
Non-Forest 
Purposes 
Use of any forest land or any portion thereof any non-forest purpose: 
Explanation – The  "non-forest purpose" means the breaking up or clearing of any forest land or 
portion thereof for,   

 
the cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, rubber, palms, oil-bearing plants, horticultural crops or 
medicinal plants;  

 
any purpose other than reforestation; 
 but does not include any work relating or ancillary to conservation, development and 
management of forests and wildlife, namely, the establishment of check-posts, fire lines, 
wireless communications and construction of fencing, bridges and culverts, dams, waterholes, 
trench marks, boundary marks, pipelines or other like purposes. (Source: Forest Conservation 
Act, 1980) 
 
Transformation Not necessary 
 
Data and Temporal Trend 
 
Following figure gives an overview of diversion of forest lands during 1990 to 2000. It indicates 
decline in diversion in recorded forest area.  
 
Trend of Diversion of Recorded Forest Area
139
13
16
9
46
14
12
6
1
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
120
130
140
150
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
Y e ar
Diversion in 
m
il
lion hectares
 
 

 
61 (114) 
Assessment of Variable  
 
The decline trend of diversion is good for forest conservation and is a healthy sign. 
 
3.1.1.7 Additional Data: Extent of Trees Outside Forests (TOF) 
 
Since late seventies, India is supporting a massive programme to enhance, promote and support 
development and conservation of the stock of “Trees Outside Forests” (TOF) to supplement 
satisfaction of demand of forest tree products and to reduce burden on natural forests. The 
inventory data provides an estimate of species wise and diameter wise average number of trees 
per hectare a stratum or zone. A relationship between diameter of each tree species and its crown 
area for each zone has been developed to estimate tree cover (crown cover) of TOF. The word 
“tree cover” is different then “forest cover” as it is the estimated crown area of TOF with 
theoretical crown density of 70 percent assuming that all trees are together at one place.  
 
Definition of Trees Outside of Forests 
 
Terms Definition 
Trees  
A woody perennial with a single main stem, having 10 cm or more diameter at 
breast height (1.37m). If there are several stems then those which has attained 10 
cm diameter at breast height (dbh) will be considered as individual trees. 
Trees Outside Forests (TOF) 
Trees on lands (rural and urban) outside the Recorded Forest Area. 
Tree Cover 
Estimated notional area of a block with tree cover with crown cover density of 
seventy percent assuming hypothetically that all Trees Outside of Forests are 
placed at one location in that block. 
 
Temporal Trend 
 
FSI has developed a regression based relationship between annual area of plantation and number 
of planted trees for estimating number of TOF in 1990 and 1980.  
 
Trend of Tree Cover of TOF
14.264
11.352
10
11
12
13
14
15
1988
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
Year
T
re
e
 C
o
v
e
r in
 m
illio
n
 h
a
.
 
 
 

 
62 (114) 
Assessment 
 
The tree cover is increasing is a healthy trend for the sustenance of forest resources. 
 
3.1.1.8 Additional Data: Area of Forest under Management Plans 
 
The working plan (management plan) for scientific working of forests in India dates back to 
1870. The forest policy provides implementation guidelines for forestry work. The current 
national forest policy (1988) explicitly provides that “No forest should be permitted to be worked 
without the Government having approved the management plan, which should be in a prescribed 
format and in keeping with the National Forest Policy.” The basic aim of all the management 
plans is to ensure sustainability of forest resources. Therefore the area of forest covered by 
management plans is an indicator of presence of a system to ensure sustainability of the forest 
resources. Specifically, these plan document for working in forest area is called "Working Plan" 
and for conservation of Protected Area is called “Management Plan”.  However, in general, the 
“management plans” stands for both “working plans” and “management plan”.   
 
Data and Temporal Trend 
 
Most of the recorded forest area has been under working plans for many decades. The remaining 
areas are being steadily brought under management plans (including working plans). The 
following figures indicates state of forest area under management plans in 1990 (actual data is for 
1987) and 2000 (actual data is for 2002).   
 
Trend in Area Under Management Plans
65.516
58.904
55
57
59
61
63
65
67
69
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Year
Ar
e
a
 in
 M
il
lio
n
 h
a
 
 
Assessment 
 
The progressively increasing forest area under scientific management plans indicates very 
positive commitment of the government and public for sustainability of natural resources. 
 

 
63 (114) 
 
3.1.2  Contribution to Global Carbon Cycle 
 
This subsection provides information on the method and approach chosen to identify and asses 
the complementary national variables and then the national data and its assessment.  
  
 
3.1.2.1 Method and Approach 
 
The for identification and assessment of  variables, India through FSI used the “Group 
Convergence Method (GCM)” (Govil, 2002).  Two workshops were organized one for briefing 
and explaining and second for implementation of  Group Convergence Method to arrive the 
finalist of identified variables. Temporal trends were developed and GCM was used to assess the 
state and change in these variables with respect to sustainability of forest resources. 
 
3.1.2.2 Relevant Variables 
 
India has identified “Carbon in Trees outside forests”  a national variable that in addition to the 
three global variables ( “Carbon in above ground biomass”, “Carbon in below ground biomass” 
and “Carbon in Soil”) is essential to explain the state of  “Contribution to Global Carbon Cycle” 
in India and for which some information was available. 
 
3.1.2.3 Source and Source Data  
 
Following table indicates sources of data for this additional variable.  
 
Additional Variable  
Source 
Carbon in 
Trees Outside Forests 
Pilot Study to review sustainability of forests in India. FSI, 2003 
 
3.1.2.4 Additional Data  
 
This section provides information on the identified complementary national variable “Carbon in 
Trees Outside Forest”. It contains relevant definition, data, temporal trend and its assessment. 
The TOF now constitute a very significant part of ecosystem as well as production. There extent 
now define the level and nature of stress on forests in other words TOF is now an important 
factor in the sustainability of forest resources in India. 
 
Definition  
 
Term Definition 
Trees Outside Forests 
Tree wealth existing outside recorded forest areas 
 

 
64 (114) 
 
Transformation Not needed 
 
Data and Temporal Changes  
 
FSI has inventories TOF both in rural and urban areas (as defined by Census of India) to estimate 
the number of trees and their volume. It has used pre-established relationships  between diameter 
of a tree species and its volume within a zone to estimate volume and biomass (with the help of 
information on its specific density). FSI has aggregated this data to zones (stratum) using ratio 
method. While extrapolation, it has excluded the land that does not support vegetation such as 
wetlands; riverbeds and perennial snow covered mountains. 
 
FSI has used specific factors for species to estimate the carbon content from the biomass 
estimates and where such information was not available for any species,  a default value of “45 % 
of biomass” has been used.  FSI has generated direct primary information for the year 2000 based 
on its field work from 1997-2002. FSI has developed an estimate of area, number of trees
volume and biomass of TOF in 1990 using average annual plantation rates. Following table and 
figure indicate this information.  
 
Trend in Carbon in TOF
436
548
400
420
440
460
480
500
520
540
560
1988
1990
1992
1994
1996
1998
2000
2002
Year 
C
a
rbon
 i
n
 m
il
li
on To
nn
e
 
 
 
Year Growing 
stock 
(million cum) 
Biomass 
(million tonne) 
Carbon 
(million tonne) 
1990 1771 
945 
436 
2000 2225 
1187 
548 
 
Assessment  
 
The above information indicates that the carbon content of TOF is increasing in India, which is a 
very good sign. A complementary pilot study by FSI indicates that the estimated rate of increase 
of carbon content in TOF during 1990 to 2000 period is actually less than during previous decade 
(1980 to 1990) may be due to lower level of planting activities in previous decade. 

 
65 (114) 
 
3.2 Health 
and 
Vitality 
 
 
This section provides information on the method and approach chosen to identify and assess the 
complementary national variables followed by presentation of the national data and finally a brief 
assessment.  
 
3.2.1  Method and Approach 
 
FSI has used the “Group Convergence Method” (Govil, 2002) for identification and assessment 
of variables. FSI organized two workshops to identify variables that are necessary to explain 
condition of forest against this criteria (Theme) using group comprised of experts from various 
disciplines. It lead to the final list of identified variables and in their valuation based on their 
temporal trend and related information.  
 
3.2.2 Relevant Variables 
 
Following seven national variables in addition to the three global variables (Area affected by fire, 
Area affected by insects, and Area affected by diseases) have been identified as complementary 
variables. These variables are essential to explain the state of  “Health and Vitality” of forest 
resources in India. However, information is available only for some of them, for the rest of them 
either information is partially available or not available at all.  
 
a.
 
Status of Natural Regeneration 
b.
 
Incidence of Weeds Infestation 
c.
 
Incidence of Grazing in different forest types 
d.
 
Status of Pollutants 
e.
 
Presence of indicator species 
f.
 
Density of forest canopy 
g.
 
Status of forest fragmentation 
 
3.2.3  Source and Source Data  
 
Following table indicates sources of data for the additional variables.  
 
Additional Variable  
Information 
Year 
Source 
Status of Natural 
Regeneration 
1982 
SFR1987 State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India 
 
1992 
SFR1995, State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India 
Incidence of Weed 
Infestation 
1990s 
Kumar and Rohatgi (1999), The role of invasive weeds in 
changing floristic diversity, Ann. For. 7(1):147-150. (2) 
Incidence of grazing 
 
SFRxxx, State of Forest Resources 1993. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India 

 
66 (114) 
 
(follows from previous page) 
Pollutants 
 
No data is available and hence no source data 
Density of forest canopy 
1982 
SFR, 1987 State of Forest Resources 1987. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
1986 
SFR, 1989 State of Forest Resources 1989. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
1988 
SFR, 1991 State of Forest Resources 1991. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
 
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 1993. 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,  2000. State of Forest Resources 200. Forest Survey of India, 
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India. 
Presence of Indicator 
Species 
 
 
Forest fragmentation 
1990 
Independent Pan-Tropical Remote Sensing Survey, 2000. FAO 
Rome.  
 
2000 
Independent Pan-Tropical Remote Sensing Survey, 2000. FAO 
Rome. 
Recorded Forest Area 
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. 
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