Spat of development across the state has many Goans concerned over the environmental degradation that is taking place due to it. A recent survey in regards to forest cover carried out by the state government has surprised many. According to the the 2015 forest survey of India report, Goa has witnessed an increase of 5 square kilometer in forest cover.
The Government of India conducts a survey every two years to find out the forest cover across the country. Principal chief conservator of forests Ajai Saxena in a press conference divulged that Goa has increased its forest cover.
“In the 2015 report it was found that there was increase in forest cover by 5 square km, out of which 4 square km have increased in Mangroves,” he was quoted in a report.
He further went on to say that Goa has a forest cover of more than the recommended 33%, add to that private forest and it goes up to 40%. If plantations of cashew and coconut are added than Goa has a forest cover of 60%. Goa is placed at the fifth position in terms of tree cover in India.
Types of forest in Goa:
(i) Estuarine vegetation consisting of mangrove species along narrow muddy banks of rivers
It is found along the banks of Mandovi, Zuari Rivers in small isolated patches. The vegetation can be found from sea level to 100m.
(ii) Strand vegetation along the coastal belts
It is found in a few narrow patches facing the Arabian sea. Specimens can be found on the southern bank of River Mandovi near Panjim.
(iii) Plateau vegetation confined especially to the low altitude
Divided into four sub categories; a majority of Goan vegetation belongs to this category.
Open scrub jungle
The vegetation mainly consists of dry deciduous elements. It can be found from Bicholim to Sanquelim and Panjim to Cortalim.
Moist mixed deciduous forests
- Majority of Goan forest cover is made up of this type of vegetation.
Secondary moist mixed deciduous forests
- This type of vegetation is found in areas where ‘Kumeri’ form of cultivation takes place or in areas with biotic interference. the trees are knotty and of coppice origin.
Sub-tropical Hill forest
- The most trees in these forest are True cinnamon tree, Java Plum (Jamun) and Caryota urens. This type of forest has primarily resulted from “Kumeri cultivation” that had occurred in the past.
(iv) Semi-evergreen and evergreen forest
- It is found mostly above 500 m.s.l. It intermingles between moist deciduous forest and tropical evergreen.
Lateritic Semi-evergreen forests
- This type of vegetation is found on shallow dry lateritic soils.
- This type of vegetation is found in depressions deep gorges nallahs and streams in the Ponda-Amboli-Rambhat belt. A rare species of ferns known as the royal fern is also found in this forest.
Certainly surprising news. Although this news shouldn’t be the reason to not worry about the environment in Goa.