EnviStats – India 2021 (Volume 1)

FOCUS

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, released the EnviStats - India 2021 report on March 31, 2021. The EnviStats were first published in 2018 and this is the first volume of the fourth edition. Volume II of the report was published on September 30, 2021.

The report compiles statistics related to environment – nation- and state-wide data on soil and land, water and wetlands, forests and biodiversity, air quality, climate conditions as well the factors that influence them. It also covers the availability of minerals, natural disasters in the country and government efforts to protect the environment.

Providing annual statistics spanning decades, the report also helps in tracking the changes in the environment. It collates data sourced from different departments and ministries of both the central as well as state governments like the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Zoological Survey of India, the Indian Bureau of Mines and the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.

The 423-page report consists of six components: Environmental Conditions and Quality (Component 1); Environmental Resources and their Use (Component 2); Residuals (Component 3); Extreme Events and Disasters (Component 4); Human Settlements and Environmental Health (Component 5); and Environment Protection, Management & Engagement (Component 6).

    FACTOIDS

  1. According to data from the Indian Meteorological Department, the mean annual temperature in 2020 was 25.7°C. The mean seasonal temperature for June-September rose between 2001 to 2020 from 27.91°C to 28.45°C.

  2. Average annual rainfall in the country grew from 1083.3 millimetres in 2001 to around 1284.1 millimetres in 2019.

  3. As per data from the Ministry of Jal Shakti, out of 372 glacial lakes and water bodies monitored in October 2020, the ‘water spread area’ of 136 had increased and that of 115 had decreased. As many as 121 such water bodies registered no change in their ‘water spread area’.

  4. Of the total geographical area of the country (328.7 million hectares), 8.8 million hectares or 2.69 per cent was ‘degraded land’ area. Data from the report shows that as of March 2018, Mizoram was the most affected state with 29.3 per cent of its area being ‘degraded land’.

  5. The area under agriculture grew from 18.8 million square kilometres in 1985 to 19.1 million square kilometres in 2005. Barren land or wastelands in India also grew in the same period from 332,758 square kilometres to 337,083 square kilometres. The land covered by forests, however, shrunk from 764,143 square kilometres to 729,262 square kilometres.

  6. In 1995, the number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India were 80 and 441 respectively, covering 148,849 square kilometres. According to the Wildlife Institute of India, in 2021, there were 104 national parks and 556 wildlife sanctuaries in the country. These covered an area of 165,836 square kilometres.

  7. February 2021 data from the Zoological Survey of India notes that among vertebrate species – Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, Amphibia and Pisces – 223 were considered ‘near threatened’ and 328 were ‘vulnerable’. As many as 239 species were ‘endangered’ and 95 ‘critically endangered’.

  8. Citing the India State of Forest Report 2019, the report notes that the total forest cover in India, as of 2018, was 712,249 square kilometres or 21.67 per cent of the country’s total geographical area. It also states that the ‘very dense’ forest cover in the country increased from 54,569 square kilometres in 2004 to 99,278 square kilometres in 2017-18.

  9. The concentration level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has risen exponentially in the last three decades. The report notes that the global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased from 344.3 parts per million in 1984 to 410.5 parts per million in 2019. The concentration of methane has risen from 1,645 to 1,877 parts per billion and that of nitrous oxide from 303.9 to 332 parts per billion during the same period.

  10. As per data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in 2020-21, the total area under foodgrain cultivation was around 127,815 thousand hectares.

  11. The overall production of fish in India – marine and inland – increased from 135.73 lakh tonnes in 2018-19 to 141.64 lakh tonnes in 2019-20. The rise was primarily due to the increase in inland fish production from 97.2 lakh tonnes to 104.37 lakh tonnes.

  12. The global carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion were recorded as 33,513 million tonnes in 2018, a steep increase from the 13,946 million tonnes recorded in 1971. Of this, Indian emissions in 2018 were 2,308 million tonnes. The country’s carbon dioxide emissions in 1971, in contrast, were 181 million tonnes.


    Focus and Factoids by Udita Mukherjee.

AUTHOR

Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi

COPYRIGHT

Social Statistics Division, National Statistical Office, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi

PUBLICATION DATE

31 Mar, 2021

SHARE