Madhya Pradesh is one of the most blessed states of India in terms of natural resources including rich and diverse forests, Forests cover about 30.72 per cent of its total area of 3.08 sq km (i.e., 94,689 sq km).


This significant resource of the state is being conserved and harnessed through innovative measures like community participation and decentralisation. The state has been a pioneer in making forestry people-oriented with 15228 Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) involved in protection and management of about 70% of the forest area. People are the real dwellers and the real caretakers of the forests and, thus, are made the beneficiaries of the dividends of this field. Forests and forest produce based industries make an important contribution to the economy of the state. Owing to economic importance of forest wealth, efforts are being made for the systematisation of the trade of forest produce in the state. The state takes care of the trade of nationalised forest produce viz., Tendu Leaf, Sal Seed and Kullu Gum. In addition, a number of forest produce like Aonla, Harra, Lac, Achar, Mahua etc. are also being collected & traded through a network of Cooperative Societies. Aonla, Gum, Tendu Leaf, Sal seed, Harra and various medicinal plants of Madhya Pradesh are in great demand in national and international markets. Tendu leaf collection activities alone account for an income of about Rs. 145 crore every year to the forest dwellers.


Teak and Sal forests are the pride of the state. The Forest Department and the Forest Development Corporation have done extensive teak plantations during the last few decades. The dense forests of teak lie in Jabalpur, Seoni, Balaghat, Panna, Sehore, Dewas, Hoshangabad, Harda, Betul, Sagar, Chhindwara and Mandla districts. Similarly, the Sal forests are mainly located in Mandla, Dindori, Balaghat, Sidhi, Umaria, Anuppur and Shahdol districts.


The geographical and biotic diversity of the state is well reflected in its 18 forest types ranging from thorn-forests to subtropical hill forests. The state is divided into 9 natural regions and 11 agro-climatic zones.


Classification of Forests;


  • • Reserved Forests
  • • Protected Forests
  • • Unclassified Forests


In the state, protected forests constitute 31098 sq km of the total forest area. Reserved forests are spread over 61886 sq km and unclassified forests cover an area of 1705 sq km.


The density of forests is not uniform in the state. Balaghat, Mandla, Dindori, Betul, Seoni, Chhindwara, Shahdol, Harda, Sheopur, Sidhi are some of densely forested districts. The forests of the state mostly lie in the southern and eastern belt; Sheopur and Panna being the notable exceptions.


As per Champion & Seth Classification, the state has 18 forest types which belong to three forest type groups, viz. Tropical Moist Deciduous, Tropical Dry Deciduous and Tropical Thorn Forests. Percentage-wise distribution of forest cover in different forest type groups found in the state on the basis of the forest cover assessment is as below :-


Sr.No.Forest Type GroupPercent Forest Cover


   Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests  8.97%


   Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests  88.65%


   Tropical Thorn Forests  0.26%

Protected Area in Madhya Pradesh:

Reserved and Protected Forest:

                                                                                                      Source: MP Forest Department


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Content Courtesy : MP Madhyam.