Forest in Mizoram
A view of virgin forest in Mizoram. Photo: S Hmar

According to India State Forest Report 2017 which was released by union forest minister Harsh Vardhan, Mizoram tops the country in deforestation losing 531 sq km in two years.

The previous India State Forest Report was published in 2015, Mizoram then has 18,748 sq km of forest reserve, data went down by 531 sq km in the 2017 forest report.

The Northeastern region states of Nagaland with 450 sq km, Arunachal Pradesh with 190 sq km, Tripura with 164 sq km, and Meghalaya with 116 sq km were also on the top of states losing its forest reserves.

The states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Odisha were listed as top states in favour of afforestation.

Every year, forest fires destroy acres and acres of Mizoram’s forest reserve. Majority of farmers in Mizoram practices jhum system of cultivation which requires cutting of forest. Uncontrolled fires often lead to major forest fires and thousands of such uncontrolled fires are recorded by the state forest department every year.

The major cause of deforestation in Mizoram according to experts is the forest fire, it is reported that fire incidents in Mizoram are the highest in the country and one third of forest fire in the north east region occur in Mizoram.

According to a recent report by the state fire and emergency services department, since 2011, nearly 695 forest fires had damaged property worth Rs 90 crore. Such fires were caused mostly by jhum cultivation.


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