Noting that India's forest policy calls for maintaining a third of the country's total land as forest cover, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said a lot was to be done towards this goal.
"India has an area of 79.4 million hectares designated as forests. This is about 19.32 percent of the country. The forest policy of the year 1952 calls for maintaining one third of the total land of the country as forest cover. This clearly indicates a gap of about 15 percent, which has to be bridged," he said in his address at the annual convocation of the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy here.
The President said the Indian Forest Service does not only have the responsibility of serving the sector of forestry in the country, but a much larger onus of arresting climate change apart from preservation of bio-diversity, enhancement of forest cover and encouraging forest-based livelihood.