Indian villagers walk towards the Mahan forest during a protest against a coal mining project in Singrauli district, Madhya Pradesh. Of the 14,000 sq km of forests cleared over the past three decades in India, the largest area was given to mining (4,947 sq km), followed by defence projects (1,549 sq km) and hydroelectric projects (1,351 sq km).

Over the last 30 years, forests nearly two-thirds the size of Haryana have been lost to encroachments (15,000 sq km) and 23,716 industrial projects (14,000 sq km), according to government data, and artificial forests cannot be replacements, as the government recently acknowledged. Read more