In Harmony With The Environment: 10 Greenest States Of India
Living in an environment that is the right mix of green and urban planning creates a positive impact on the health of the residents. According to a study by the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, Exposure to Neighborhood Green Space and Mental Health: Evidence, green spaces reduce anxiety and stress among dwellers. It further adds that higher level of forest cover ensures low levels of air pollution and good environmental conditions.
According to a report, India State of Forest Report 2017, the total forest cover of the country is currently 21.54 per cent (7.08 lakh sq km) of the total geographic area.
MakaanIQ gives you an insight into what makes these states top the list:
Lakshadweep, one of the seven union territories of India, stands at the second position with 90.33 per cent of the total geographical area covered by the forests. In Lakshadweep, the flora is still quite low with only a few species. Poor soil conditions, low humus and overuse of pesticides and chemicals are some of the reasons for the low level of flora in Lakshadweep.
According to the report, Mizoram tops the list with a forest cover of 18,186 sq km. This is around 86.27 per cent of the total geographical area of the state. The forests in Mizoram are a part of the Indo-Burma Global Biodiversity Hotspot. The presence of a large number of forests makes this state ecologically balanced—supporting different varieties of bird, plant and animal life. However, since 2013 the forest cover saw a decline owing to biotic pressure on land and shifting cultivation in the state.
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands stand the third position with a forest cover of 6,742 sq km which accounts for 81.73 per cent of the total geographical area. Mangrove cover and protection and conservation activities have helped improve the green cover. Increase in the forest cover shows that the tribes would have more support and their economic, religious, cultural and social needs will be met easily.
With a forest cover of 66,964 sq km, Arunachal Pradesh is at number four in the list. It is around 79.96 per cent of the total geographical area. Along with shifting cultivation, few forest areas in Arunachal Pradesh are diverted for development purposes.
Manipur's total forest cover area stands at around 17,346 sq km, 77.69 percent of the total geographical area. There has been an increase in the forest cover of Manipur. Increased plantation and different conservation activities have contributed to this increase.
Of the Meghalaya's total geographical area of 22,429 sq km, around 76.45 per cent is covered with forest. This makes Meghalaya sixth among the top 10 green states in India. Since 2013, there has been a decline in the forest cover. This is due to the shifting cultivation and biotic pressure on forest land.
Nagaland has a forest cover of around 12,489 sq km, contributing 75.33 per cent to the total geographical area. Standing at number five, since 2013, Nagaland saw a decline in the forest cover. Along with biotic pressure on forest land, shifting cultivation added to the decline in the forest cover.
Around 73.68 per cent of Tripura is under forest cover. This brings it at number eight in the list of top 10 green states in India. Since 2013, the forest cover has declined and this has been mainly due to encroachment on forest land and shifting cultivation.
With a forest cover of 2,229 sq km, Goa stands at number nine in the list. The forest cover in Goa contributes to almost 60.21 per cent of the total geographical area. When compared to 2013, the forest cover in this state has increased by five sq km. This change is the outcome of rising in Mangrove areas.
Kerala with a forest cover of 20,321 sq km, which is around 52.34 per cent of the total geographical area, brings it to the tenth position in the list. Since 2013, Kerala's forest cover has grown. This increase has been due to the commercial plantation in the state.