| Last Updated:: 29/09/2015



          Chhattisgarh is gifted with the most pristine and abundant set of natural resources in the country. Mountain, Plateau, and Plains eco-systems constitute roughly a third each of its physiography. Dense, green, and untouched, its forests are also the source of major rivers like Mahanadi, Narmada, Indravati, and an exotic flora-fauna.

Recorded Forest Area, Protected Areas and Forest Cover -

          The recorded forest area in the state is 59,772 km2 , which is 44.21 percent of its geographical area. Reserved, Protected and Unclassed Forests constitute 43.13 percent, 40.21 percent, and 16.65 percent of the totalforest area respectively.The state has three National Parks and elevenWildlife Sanctuaries covering an area of 0.29 million ha and 0.36 million ha respectively. Thus, atotal of 0.65 million ha area constituting 4.79 percent of the geographical area of the state is under protected area network.The forest cover in the state, based on interpretation of satellite data of October 2008-January2009, is 55,674 km2 , which is 41.18 percentof thestate's geographical area. In terms of forest canopy density classes, the state has 4,163 km' of very dense forests, 34,811 km2 ofmoderately dense forests und 16,600 km2 ofopen forests. The forest cover of the state is shown in the figure below. Forest_Cover Forest_Cover
Comparison of the current forest cover assessment with the previous assessment (satellitedata of Oct 08-Jan 09) shows a marginallossoffour km2 offorestcover.

Forest Cover Change -

          Although there is an actual change of four km2 as detected during2011 assessment, there is anet decrease of 192 km2 in the forest cover from the reported area in FSIR 2009. This has occurred due to refinement of interpretational methodology on the one hand and availability of satellitedata of appropriateseason with improved quality as compared to previous years.A quantitative account of the class-wise change is givenin the forest cover change matrix below.
Forest Cover Change

Forest Cover in Different Forest Types -

          Asper Champion& SethClassification,the state has ten forest types that belong to two foresttypegroups,viz.TropicalMoistDeciduousandTropicalDryDeciduous. Forests distributionof forest cover in different foresttypegroupsfound in the stateon the basis of forest cover assessment is given in the pie diagram.
Forest Type Groups

Tree Cover -

          Tree cover of the state has been estimated usingtrees outside (TOF) inventorydatacollectedover a period of six years, i.e. 2004-10.The estimated tree cover in the state is 3,866 km2 , whichis 2.86 percent ofthe geographicalarea ofthe state.Six districts of the state (Bilaspur, Durg, Jashpur, Kawardha, Kanker and Rajnandgaon) have been inventoried. The forest and tree cover of the state is presented in the Table below.
Forest Type Groups

Growing Stock -

          The growing stock in the recorded forest area has been estimated on the basis of the current forest cover map, forest type map and forestinventory data. Thesame has been estimatedusing TOF inventory data. The same has been presented in the table below-
Growing Stock Growing Stock

Bamboo Resources -

          The extentofbamboobearing area in the forests of the state is 11,368 km2 .Density-wise details, number of culms by soundness and equivalent green weight are given in the following tables-
Bamboo Resources

Wetlands -

          Area estimates of various wetland categories for Chhattisgarh have been carried out using GIS layers of wetland boundary, water-spread, aquatic vegetation, and turbidity. Total 7711 wetlands have been mapped at1:50,000 scale in the state.In addition, 27823 wetlands (smaller than 2.25 ha) have also been identified and delineated as point feature. Total wetland area estimated is 337966 ha that is around 2.5 percent of the geographic area. The major wetland types are River/Stream accounting for about 53 percent of the wetlands (179088 ha), Reservoirs (90389 ha), and Tanks/Ponds (40226 ha). Graphical distribution of wetland type is shown in Figure 10. The small wetlands (< 2.25 ha) accounts for about 8.2 percent assuming that each is of one ha.
Analysis of wetland status in terms of open water shows that out of the total wetland area the extent of open water is 243814 ha in postmonsoon and 173678 ha in pre-monsoon.There is a significant reduction in the extent of open water from post-monsoon to pre-monsoon. It is reflected in all the wetland types (Table 4). Turbidity is observed to be dominantly moderate in post-monsoon (183025 ha) out of 243814 ha of open water followed by high (31804 ha) and low turbidity (28985 ha). Aquatic vegetation in Chhattisgarh accounts for about 0.6 and 5.8 percent of total wetland area in post- monsoon (2123 ha) and Pre-monsoon (19600 ha) respectively.
Wetlands Wetlands
The state has sixteen districts and district-wise distribution of wetlands showed that Janjgir-Champa (6.78 percent) followed by Dhamtari (6.65 percent) and Durg (3.55 percent), Raipur (3.53 percent), and Mahasamund (3.52) have the highest extent of wetlands (Table 5). The least extents (less than 1.5 percent) of wetlands have been observed in Bastar (0.98 percent) Jashpur (1.3 percent) and Dantewada (1.45 percent) districts. The area statistics provided for each district has detailed tabular information on turbidity levels and aquatic vegetation status. Figure 11 shows graphical distribution of district-wise wetlands.
Wetlands Wetlands

Keyissues -

          Chhattisgarh’s forests and wetlands face a number of key issues that have impacted them over the years and continue to do so – these involve both natural and manmade causes, and have in general resulted in the depletion or at least shrinking quantity/quality of the State’s bioresources.
One of the major causes for the loss of biological diversity in the wild lands has been the depletion of vegetative cover in order to expand agriculture. The collection of fuel wood, uncontrolled grazing for sustenance, food security, as well as income generation, and ever growing population has led to an increased rate of consumption of bio-resources. Most of the biodiversity rich forests of the State also have enormous mineral wealth potential. Exploiting this potential by opening new mines & mineral based industries in the recent past has led to destruction of rich habitats. Diversion of forest lands for non-forestry purpose like minor andmajor irrigationprojects; hydroelectricpower projects roads; industrial estates & other development projects.Release of toxic affluent both in water & air due to urbanization and industrialization has seriously affected the regeneration & growth of Biodiversity.