Forest cover has increased in Nepal of late

KATHMANDU: The latest survey showed that the forest cover is slowly and gradually increasing in Nepal.

A joint five-year survey conducted by the Department of Forest Research and Survey and the National Forest Products Survey Project in between 2067 to 2071 BS, shows that of the total 147,181 square kilometres area of Nepal, forest area makes up 44.74 percent. Of it, 40.36 percent is covered by forest and remaining 4.38 percent is scrubland.

If this percentage is converted into digit, the country has 5,962,438 hectares land covered by forest. The mid-west region comprises the maximum section of forest area while the far-west covers the least section. According to the data made available by the Department, the mid-west region has 1,846,365 hectares of forest area while the forest area in the far-west is expanded to 135,900 hectares.

The mid-hill area is greener than other regions as forest area here makes up 37.8 percent and is followed by 32.25 percent in the high hilly land, 23.04 percent in the Chure region and 6.90 in the Tarai.

Successful implementation of forest protection programmes, rampant migration from the rural areas, state initiatives to protect forest are the reasons behind the increment in the forest area, said Department's Spokesperson Keshab Raj Gautam.

The forest survey conducted in between 1987 to 1998 showed that there was 39.6 percent forest area in the country.

But the increasing incidents of forest fire have posed threat to the attempts to protect and increase forest area. A total of 350,000 hectares of forest was burnt down by the forest fire this year. The Department has adopted special measures to control incidents of bush fire, it is said.