This paper presents India's forest resource knowledge base, briefly mentioning the historic progress and management of forestry. Working plans for the operational planning and management of forests at the district/division levels, though still the main source of information, have been difficult to integrate into state/national strategic planning because of their differing time frames.
Assessments of the forest resource for strategic planning using statistically sound field inventory design began in 1965, and were stepped up after the creation of the Forest Survey of India in 1981. Field inventory data are supplemented by two-yearly satellite assessments (since 1987), the last showing the forest cover of India to be 67.7 million ha and the growing stock 4.6 billion m3.
The database is weak regarding many important parameters. The main suggestions for filling the knowledge gap are: capacity building in the application of modern technology to assessments, institutional strengthening, and networking for better information flow.