Map Source: ISFR 2021

Forest resources play significant role in both socio-economic development and environment of any area. The Forest ecosystem is now known to serve a multiple function in absorbing carbonload, generation of oxygen, moderating climate, preventing soil erosion, recharging groundwater, etc. Forest, through the process of photosynthesis, trap solar energy, which can provide biomass for energy production. Besides producing timber and fuel, forest offer a wide range of non-timber forest produces like leaf, fruits, flowers, gums, resins, medicinals. Above all, forests harbour 80 percent of the biodiversity on the planet earth.

Forest Types

The forest in Tripura may be classified into three different types of classificatory system (Table-25).

Table-25:Forest type of Tripura

Sl.No. Classificatory System S.No. Forest Types
A. Climatic Types
1. Evergreen forest
2. Moist deciduous forest
a. Sal forest
        b. Mixed forest
B. Seral Types
    3. Swamp vegetation
C. Edaphic Types
    4. Bamboo forest
    5. Cane forest
    6. Garjan forest
    7. Savannah forest
    8. Grass land vegetation

Area Statistics of the Forest Types found in Tripura

Forest types have been assigned to the natural forest formations under forest cover and scrub categories shown

Sl.No. Forest Type Area % of the total mapped area
1. 2B/C2 Cachar semi-evergreen forest 2126.56 27.42
2. 2B/C1/2S1 Pioneer Euphorbiaceous scrub 1.15 0.02
3. 2/2S1 Secondary moist bamboo brakes 590.44 7.61
4. 3C/C1b(ii) East Himalayan lower bhabar sal 196.75 2.54
5. 3C/C3b East Himalayan moist mixed deciduous forest 3052.68 39.37
SUB TOTAL 5967.58 76.96
6. TOF/Plantation 1786.80 23.04
TOTAL(Forest Cover & Scrub) 7754.38 100.00
Source: ISRF 2021

Evergreen Forest

Characterized by stand in distinct three tier evergreen forests exhibit numerous species of trees, with high biodiversity but none of the species may be abundant in population. Evergreen forests can be seen in Dharamnagar and Kailashahar area, Jampui and Sakhan hill ranges, and in part of Belonia, Sabrum, Kamalpur and Sadar sub-division. Once occupying a large area, evergreen forest has now been reduced significantly and exist in patches along hill slopes, sandy river banks, etc. Species of Dipterocarpus, Artocarpus, Amoora, Elaeocarpus, Syzygium, Eugenea dominated the top canopy.

Moist Deciduous Forest

Sal forest

The dominant species, Sal or Shorea robusta provides more than 60% of the top canopy in this type of forest. Found in southern and northern low hills, extending up to the border of Bangladesh, Sal forest has undergone significant changes in some areas like Sonamura, due to expansion of paddy cultivation. Locally, Sal forest can still be found in Belonia, Udaipur, Sonamura and part of Sadar sub-division.

Moist deciduous Mixed Forest

Characterized by absence or scarce, Sal trees, mixed forest offer dense and even canopy reaching a height of as long as 25 meters. Such forest can be seen in Amarpur, Sonamura, Udaipur and Sadar areas and in fragmented patches in Dharmanagar, Kailashsahar and Kamalpur areas.

Bamboo and Cane Forest

Large tract of land in forest area show bamboo forest, often interrupted by evergreen or deciduous secondary stand. Abandoned Jhum land appear favourable for natural bamboo growth besides sheltered hollows, etc. Cane grows extensively in the wet hollows and amidst evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forest. Species of Calamus (guruba, floribundus, ertectus, leptospadix, vimnialis) dominate the thorny thickets.

Garjan Forest

It is basically a part of evergreen vegetation, and sometimes associated with Sal trees of moist deciduous forest. Garjan or Dipterocarpus furbinatus forms the dominant species in these forests occuring in Khowai, Muturi, Talatalikona, Chailengta, Deo, Dharmanagar, Jalaya and other areas (Ref. D.C. Deb)


Grasslands are formed as an edaphic climax on wet soils. Besides the natural grassland, grassland succeeds activities of shifting cultivation, forest fire and areas of other human activities. Aquatic grasses often occupy silted marshland enriched by silt and organic debris.

Swamp Vegetation

Swamps cover a large part of the geographical area of the State. The swamp areas harbour harbaceous species, few shrubs and trees dominated by Albizia, Baringtonia, Lagerstroemia, Macaranga, Mullotis species; herbs and grasses include Clinogyne, Phragmites and Saccharum species.

Forest Area

North Eastern region of India comprises of eight states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim & Tripura and it makes 7.98% of the geographical area of the country. The forest resources in these states account for 23.75% of the total forest cover of the country. This region of the country is characterized by shifting/jhum cultivation where forest land is converted into agricultural land and the fields are cultivated for a relatively short time. Thereafter, the area is allowed to recover or is left fallow for a long time and this is repeated after certain years. Such agricultural practices mainly contribute to cause fluctuation in forest cover in thsi region. The forest cover in the north eastern states is given in the table below:-

State Geo-graphical Area Very Dense Forest Moderately Dense Forest Open Forest Total % of forest cover to GA Change in forest cover wrt 2019 Scrub
Arunachal Pradesh 83,743 21,058 30,176 15,197 66,431 79.33 -257 797
Assam 78,438 3,017 9,991 15,304 28,312 36.09 -15 228
Manipur 22,327 905 6,228 9,465 16,598 74.34 -249 1,215
Meghalaya 22,429 560 9,160 7,326 17,046 76.00 -73 663
Mizoram 21,081 157 5,715 11,948 17,820 84.53 -186 1
Nagaland 16,579 1,272 4,449 6,530 12,251 73.90 -235 824
Sikkim 7,096 1,102 1,551 688 3,341 47.08 -1 296
Tripura 10,486 647 5,212 1,863 7,722 73.64 -4 33
Source: ISFR 2021

District Wise Forest Cover of Tripura (in sq km)

District Geographical Area 2021 Assessment % of GA Change w.r.t. 2019 assessment Scrub
Very Dense Forest Moderate Dense Forest Open Forest Total
Dhalai 2400 117.71 1453.00 406.44 1977.15 82.38 -6.55 2.55
North Tripura 2036 48.52 1044.60 387.57 1480.69 72.73 0.50 18.21
South Tripura 3057 235.28 1571.31 455.23 2261.82 73.99 -10.38 0.10
West Tripura 2993 254.25 1142.85 613.76 2001.86 66.88 12.36 12.36
Source: ISFR 2021

Estimate of Tree Cover

The total tree cover of the country has been estimated 95,748 sq km. An increase of 721 sq km can be noticed, compared to 2019, in the year 2020. The State having the maximum tree cover is Maharashtra (12,108 sq km) followed by Rajasthan (8,733 sq km), Madhya Pradesh (8,054 sq km), Karnataka (7,494 sq km) and Uttar Pradesh (7,421 sq km). Considering the percentage of tree cover, Chaindigarh shows the highest percentage (13.16%) followed by Delhi (9.91%), Kerala (7.26%) and Goa (6.59%). The details of the eight North Eastern States is shown below in tabular format.

Sl.No. State Geographical Area Tree Cover Percentage of Geographical Area
1. Arunachal Pradesh 83,743 1001 1.20
2. Assam 78,438 1630 2.08
3. Manipur 22,327 169 0.76
4. Meghalaya 22,429 698 3.11
5. Mizoram 21,081 444 2.11
6. Nagaland 16,579 365 2.20
7. Sikkim 7,096 39 0.55
8. Tripura 10,486 228 2.17
Source: ISFR 2021

As per the data of Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Tripura for the Financial Year 2020-21, the total forest cover in the State of Tripura is 6294.287 sq km. The unclassified Government Forest and Reserve Forest has an area of 2116.874 sq km & 3588.183 sq km respectively. The State has 1.597 sq km of Protected Forest and the Proposed Reserve Forest is 587.63 sq km. Revenue earned in the Financial Year 2020-21 is Rs. 19.45 crores and development expenditure in forestry is Rs. 66.528 crores. A total of 1052 Joint Forest Management Committes families are there in the State. An area of 4902 Ha is the afforestation area in the F.Y. 2020-21.

Forest Cover Inside and Outside Recorded Forest Area (or Green Wash) in Tripura

The Forest Cover inside and outside Recorded Forest Area (RFA) has been analysed in different categories and presented in the table below.

Forest Cover Inside the Recorded Forest Area (or Green Wash) Forest Cover Outside the Recorded Forest Area (or Green Wash)
Very Dense Forest Moderate Dense Forest Open Forest Total Very Dense Forest Moderate Dense Forest Open Forest Total
407 3886 1140 5433 240 1326 723 2289
7.49% 71.53% 20.98% 10.48% 57.93% 31.59%

The altitude wise Forest Cover was calculated using the Digital Elevation Model (30m) and the result is provided in the tabular format below.

Altitude Zone (m) Very Dense Forest Moderate Dense Forest Open Forest Scrub
0-500 647 5165 1846 30
500-1000 0 47 17 3

Forest Fire

In India, severe fires occur in many forest types particularly dry deciduoud forest, while evergreen, semi-evergreen and montane temperate forests are comparatively less prone (ISFR 2015). More than 36% of the country's forest cover has been estimated to be prone to frequent forest fires. Nearly 4% of the country's forest cover is estremely prone to fire, whereas 6% of forest cover is found to be very highly fire prone (ISFR 2019).
The forest fire season in the country is normally from Nov to June, and with majority of fires being caused due to man-made factors. the National Action Plan on Forest Fires (NAPFF) was formulated by the MoEF&CC, Government of India in 2018 with the objective of revamping the forest fire management in the country. It amis to minimize forest fires from taking place by informing, enabling and empowering forest fringe communities, and also incentivizing them to work in tandem with the State Forest Departments (SFDs). Technology such as satellite based forest fire detection and alerts dissemination in near real-time, early warning information, tracking of large fires and related activities are of critical importance in timely prevention and control of forest fires.

Forest Cover under different classes of forest fire proneness is showcased below in tabular format for the State of Tripura.

Sl.No. Forest Fire Prone Classes Forest Cover % of Total Forest Cover
1 Extremely Fire Prone 2491.90 32.27
2 Very Highly Fire Prone 1249.76 16.18
3 Highly Fire Prone 812.80 10.53
4 Moderately Fire Prone 641.61 8.31
5 Less Fire Prone 2525.93 32.71

Growing Stock in Tripura

The precise information on growinf stock which is the measure of the substance of its tree wealth includes distribution of stems in different diameter class, volume, biomass, carbon stock etc both within and outside forest area is required for strategic planning of the forestry sector at various levels. Traditionally, growing stock is considered as an important indicator of forest health and productivity. the growing stock is estimated through forest inventory under which both qualitative and quantitative parameters are recorded to know overall health of growing forests. In working plan exercise also assessment of growing stock is an essential and integral component for local level management of forest resources.

Growing stock in the recorded forest areas in Tripura is given below in the table. Diameter class-wise distribution of top 5 species in numbers derived from the forest inventory data is presented below in tabular formula.

Growing Stock in Tripura
Sl. No. Growing Stock (GS) 2019 Assessment 2021 Assessment Change wrt 2019 Assessment % of Country's GS
1 Growing Stock in Recorded Forest Area 19.74 23.13 3.39 0.53
2 Growing Stock in TOF 6.76 7.46 0.70 0.42
Source: ISFR 2021

Diameter class distribution of top five tree species inside RFA in Tripura
Sl.No. Species Dia Class (cm)
10-30 30-60 >60
1 Hevea brasiliensis 39,996 2,963 0
2 Tectona grandis 7,710 1,039 0
3 Albizia spp. 6,012 1,357 93
4 Shorea robusta 1,645 348 41
5 Pterospermum acerifolium 1,500 444 65
Source: ISFR 2021

Dominant tree species in Tree Outside Forests (TOF)

Trees Outside Forest (TOF):The TOF inventory is carried out simultaneously along with forest inventory in 60 randomly selected districts both in rural and urban areas. The configuration of trees in rural and urban areas is different and it is not possible to use the same methodology for both the areas. Therefore, separate methodologies are followed for inventory of TOF (Rural) and TOF (Urban) which are described in detail in the following sections.

Top five species in numbers in Tree Outside Forests in Tripura in Rural and Urban areas are given in the table below below.

Top 5 tree species in TOF(Rural) in Tripura Top 5 tree species in TOF(Urban) in Tripura
Sl.No. Species Relative Abundance % Sl.No. Species Relative Abundance %
1 Hevea brasiliensis 58.70 1 Areca catechu 21.73
2 Tectona grandis 7.76 2 Hevea brasiliensis 15.96
3 Areca catechu 3.95 3 Mangifera indica 9.30
4 Schima wallichii 2.62 4 Areca triandra 8.93
5 Syzygium cumini 2.37 5 Cocos nucifera 6.79

Carbon Stock in Forests

Forest carbon stock is the amount of carbon that has been sequestered from the atmosphere and is now stored within the forest ecosystem, mainly within living biomass and soil, and to a lesser extent also in dead wood and litter. Forest carbon accumulation is crucial for mitigating ongoing climatic change, with individual large trees storing a substantial portion of the overall carbon in living trees. India, as part of its contribution to the global fight against climate change, has committed itself to creating an “additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent” by 2030. That is one of the three targets India has set for itself in its climate action plan, called Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, that every country has to submit under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Forests, by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for the process of photosynthesis, act as a natural sink of carbon. Together with oceans, forests absorb nearly half of global annual carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, the carbon currently stored in the forests exceeds all the carbon emitted in the atmosphere since the start of the industrial age. An increase in the forest area is thus one of the most effective ways of reducing the emissions that accumulate in the atmosphere every year.
The total carbon stock of the forests in the State of Tripura including the TOF patches which are more than 1ha in size is 74.97 million tonnes (equivalent to 274.89 million tonnes of carbon dioxide) which is 1.04% of the total forest carbon of the country. Pool wise forest carbon in Tripura is given below

Sl. No. Carbon Pools Forest Carbon
1. Above Ground Biomass (AGB) 24,349
2. Below Ground Biomass (BGB) 5,358
3. Dead Wood 477
4. Litter 1,486
5. SOC 43,304

Growing Stock of Bamboo

Bamboos, the most diverse group of plants in the grass family belong to the sub-family Bambusoidae of the family Pooceoe (Gromineoe). Bamboos are fast growing perennial plants and are found in the tropical, sub-tropical and mild temperate regions of the world. Geographical distribution of Bamboo largely depends on climatic factors such as precipitation, temperature, altitude and soil conditions. Large tracts of natural bamboo forest are found in tropical Asian countries between 75° and 25° North latitudes. In India, bamboo is found naturally almost throughout the country except in Kashmir region.

The North-Eastern States and West Bengal account for more than 50% of the bamboo resources of the country. Other bamboo rich areas of the country are the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and the Western Ghats. Although, bamboo is found in almost every state of the country, its distribution and concentration varies primarily due to the climatic and edaphic conditions. Bombuso and Dendrocolomus are species of tropical conditions, whereas Arundinorio and its associates occur in the temperate region and are common at high altitudes in the Western and Eastern Himalayas.

Bamboo bearing area and growing stock inside the recorded forest area (RFA)/Green Wash, in the State of Tripura, which include culms of 1 year age and above are given in the following table below.

Growing Stock (GS) % of Country's GS of Bamboo
Bamboo bearing area inside RFA/Green Wash (in sq km) 4,201 2.81
Total number of culms (in millions) 1,562 2.93
Total equivalent green weight (in '000 tonnes) 12,413 3.09

Major NTFP and Invasive Species

Major NTFP Species in Tripura

Sl.No. Species Plant Type Relative Abundance (%)
1. Thysanolaena maxima Herbs 89.66
2. Mucuna Pruriens Climber 10.34

Major invasive species in Tripura inside RFA/Green wash (in sq km)

Sl.No. Species Estimated Extent
1. Chromolaena odorata 134
2. Mikania micrantha 56
3. Imperata cylindrica 11
4. Saccharum spontanem 5
5. Lantana camara 2