Global Forest Watch: India lost 2.33 million hectares of tree cover



India has lost a significant amount of its humid primary forest over the last two decades, according to the Global Forest Watch. From 2002 to 2023, the country lost 4,14,000 hectares of forest, making up 18% of its total tree cover loss in the same period. The forests in India emitted 51 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year and removed 141 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year between 2001 and 2022. This means that the forests in India were able to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they produced, making them a net carbon sink of 89.9 million tons per year.The loss of forests accelerates climate change, as forests are both a sink and a source for carbon. When standing or regrowing, forests remove carbon dioxide from the air, and when cleared or degraded, they emit it. Tree cover loss is not always deforestation, which refers to the permanent removal of natural forest cover caused by humans. Tree cover loss can also occur due to natural disturbances, including logging, fire, disease, or storm damage. 

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