Geography India - National Forest August 20, 2017 Introduction According to the India State of Forest Report 2011, the actual forest cover in India is 21.05%, of which, 12.29% are dense forests and 8.75% are open forests. Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 86.93% forest area; on the other hand, Lakshadweep has zero per cent forest area [details of forest cover (state-wise) shown in the image given below]. With (about) 90 percent of forest cover, Mizoram has the highest percentage of forest area in India. Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Gujarat have less than 10 percent area under forest cover. Category of National Forest As shown in the map given below, national forest is broadly categorized as Dense Forest, Open Forest, Scrub, and Mangrove. Currently, there are 102 National parks and 515 wildlife sanctuaries. These collectively cover an area of 15.67 million hectares of India. The Government of India proposed to have a nation-wide forest conservation policy, and adopted a forest policy in 1952, and further amended in 1988. Out of a total of 593 districts, 188 districts have been identified as tribal districts. The tribal districts account for about 59.61% of the total forest cover of India, whereas the geographical area of 188 tribal districts constitutes only 33.63% of the total geographical area of India. Social Forestry For the forest conservation and increase the forest area, the concept of Social forestry has been introduced. Social Forestry means the management and protection of forests and afforestation on barren lands with the purpose of helping in the environmental, social, and rural development. Further, in 1976, The National Commission on Agriculture has classified social forestry into three categories i.e. Urban forestry, Rural forestry, and Farm forestry. Farm forestry is a term applied to the process under which the farmers grow trees for commercial and non-commercial purposes on their farm lands.