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With 390.19 million tonnes, J&K has 5th highest carbon stock in India

Srinagar:  A new study has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir has the fifth-highest carbon reserves in India.

According to the State of Forest Report 2019, which was recently released by the Union Ministry for Forests and Environment, Arunachal Pradesh has the highest carbon stock of 1051 million tonnes followed by Madhya Pradesh (588.73 million tonnes), Chhattisgarh (480.25 million tonnes), and Maharashtra (440.51million tonnes). Jammu and Kashmir, as per the report, has 390.19 million tonnes of carbon stock.

The carbon stock refers to the amount of carbon stored in forests in the form of biomass, soil, deadwood, and litter. More the carbon stock higher the forest’s capacity to absorb and sequester carbon dioxide (CO2). An increase in green cover and carbon stock both indicate a healthy trend to deal with global warming.

 As per the report, Jammu and Kashmir has a total forest cover of 21,122.59 Square Kilometres including 4,202.86 sq km of very dense forests, 7,952.47 sq km moderate dense forests, and 8,967.26sqkm open forest.

 On the basis of per hectare carbon stock, Jammu and Kashmir holds the third position in the report. Sikkim has the maximum per hectare carbon stock of 171.04 tonnes/ha followed by Andaman & Nicobar Islands (167.09 tonnes/ha) and Jammu and Kashmir (165.25 tonnes/ha).

 Neighboring Himachal Pradesh, as per the report, has a carbon stock of 163.51 tonnes/ha while Arunachal Pradesh has 157.65 tonnes/ha).

The carbon stock in India’s forests for 2019 has been estimated at 7,124.6 million tonnes, which is an increase of 42.6 million tonnes.

According to the report, India targets creating an additional sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover in the country by 2030.

An official from the forest department told The Kashmir Monitor that they are aiming to increase the forest cover in Jammu and Kashmir by holding multiple afforestation drives. “It will definitely increase our carbon stock to deal with the climate change,” he said.

The official said the department has a target of planting one crore saplings across the UT this year.