The geographical area of Andhra Pradesh State is 1,62,968 sq.km. (ISFR-2019). The Recorded forest area in the state is 37,258 sq.kms which is about 23% of the total geographical area. The dense forest area, out of recorded forest area, is about 14,786 sq. km and open forest is about 9,333 sq.km. The rest of the recoded forest area i.e., about 13,139 sq.km is scrub jungle, grass lands and water bodies. The green cover outside the forest area is estimated to be 3% of total geographical area (ISFR, 2019).
The Government of Andhra Pradesh envisions to green the State with abundant forest and tree cover with a thriving wildlife and biodiversity, which would act as a huge natural carbon sink. The objective is to contribute to the creation of sustainable living space for the citizens of the State, thereby creating a safer, sustainable, lively and livable planet for the posterity. The Government of Andhra Pradesh is keen to increase the green cover in the State to 33% of the Geographical area of the state in conformity with the National Forest Policy, 1988 by involving all the stake holders including line departments, Industries, NGOs, Public etc., The services of Village/Ward secretariats and Village/Ward volunteers are utilized for distribution, planting and protection of planted seedlings.
In order to achieve the vision, a massive afforestation programme of planting nearly 20 crore seedlings is carried under the rubrique “JAGANANNA PACHHATHORANAM” every year.
The programme commences with the inauguration of Vanamahostavam by the Hon’ble Chief Minister at state capital every year in the month of June/July with the onset of monsoon. It is celebrated in a befitting manner to create large extents of Green cover in the State duly involving all Departments of the Government, Vana Samarakshana Samithi members, Self-help groups, Industries, students, public etc.
The same day, simultaneously at district level also Vanamahotsavam is inaugurated by the respective District-in-charge Ministers by involving all public representatives of the district.
About 20 crore seedlings of fruit, fodder, shade bearing and timber yielding species viz. Neredu, Chinta, Ravi, Marri, Kanuga, Vepa, Teak, Red Sanders, Casurina, Bamboo etc., are planted in and around forest lands, degraded lands, vacant government lands, government offices, schools & college premises, agricultural lands and along canals, roads, railway lines etc.