2,141 sq km increase in forest cover is achieved in the State, the highest by any State due to planting and conservation activities from 2015 to 2017 (India State Forest Report 2017). The State has contributed to a positive change of 37 sq km of Mangrove forests and ranks 2nd in the country.
7 districts have greater than 1 lakh hectares area available for greening within forests, and therefore are being given top priority for greening.
The action plan for the green cover includes various sub-plans like Vanam-Manam, Pavithra Vanam, Manya Haritham, Nagara Vanams, Haritha Theeram (shelterbelt), Vana Vihari (eco-tourism), Haritha Sreni (avenue plantation), Vana Sanjeevani, Vana Suraksha, and Vanyaprani Samrakshana,
Vanam Manam: Greenery development by planting 25 crore seedlings on campaign mode along with the participation of people, the government, NGOs, and private agencies.
Pavithra Vanam: Hill afforestation and establishing eco-parks near temples at 12 locations.
Manya Haritham: Barren hill afforestation with SMC works to cover 214 no. hillocks- 5486 ha.
Nagara Vanams: Establishment & development of city forests/eco-parks in urban areas at 18 locations.
Haritha Theeram: 920 ha of Casuarina plantation and 380 ha of restoration with Mangrove forest to protect coastal areas from natural calamities.
Vana Vihari: Establishment and development of eco-tourism centres at 14 locations to promote tourism.
Haritha Sreni: 876 km of avenue plantation along highways and important roads.
Vana Sanjeevani: 3103 km trench work (232.75 lakh cubic meters earthwork) around forest blocks to improve forest protection, facilitate water conservation and mitigate man-animal conflicts.
Vana Suraksha: Forest and wildlife protection by promoting base camps (193 no.), strike forces (52 no.), anti-poaching squads and check posts (113 no.)
Vanyaprani Samrakshana: Habitat improvement and holistic wildlife conservation, ex-situ conservation through zoological parks, sea turtle conservation, and environmental education.
The existing green cover within forest is at 17%, 23 lakh ha and 4 lakh ha outside forest, 8% or 13 lakh ha is available for greening within forest, 16% or 26 lakh ha is available for greening outside forest, and 9% or 15 lakh ha is to be identified for greening from revenue and private land.