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The cover of branches and foliage formed by the crown of trees.

Canopy density


The relative completeness of canopy usually expressed as a decimal coefficient, taking closed canopy as unity.

Capacity building


The improvement of an organisation’s or community’s ability to perform its tasks effectively and confidently. It may include skills training, organisational development and financial resources.

Carbon credit


Carbon credit is used in emission trading schemes (see emissions trading), where one credit gives the owner the right to emit one ton of CO2.

Carbon emissions


In the context of climate change, carbon dioxide released when substances, especially oil, gas, and coal, are burned by vehicles and planes, by factories and by homes.

Carbon fixation


The reduction of carbon dioxide to organic compounds by living organisms. The obvious example is photosynthesis. Carbon fixation requires both a source of energy such as sunlight, and an electron donor such as water. All life depends on fixed carbon.

Carbon footprint


A measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, especially climate change, often reported as the units of tonnes (or kg) of carbon dioxide each of us produces over a given period of time.

Carbon sequestration


The process of increasing the carbon content of a reservoir other than the atmosphere.



The consumption by an organism of living animals or parts of living animals.



A major change in the environment that causes extensive damage and usually widespread death, and occurs so infrequently that the effects of natural selection by similar events in the past (if they have ever occurred) do not remain in the ‘genetic memory’ of the species.

Catchment (area)


The area of land bounded by watersheds draining into a river, basin or reservoir. See also Drainage basin.



A complex polymer of glucose molecules. The fundamental cell wall constituent in all green plants. Census In ecology, an attempt to count every member of a population .



Short for ‘chloroflurocarbons’, which are chemicals used in manufacturing and, in the past, in aerosol cans and refrigerators, which can damage the ozone layer.

Change matrix


It presents change in forest cover classes for a given region (State or UT) during the period of two consecutive assessment in matrix form by showing the changes of area from one class to another.



Green pigment(s) found in almost all plants and playing a crucial role in the capture of radiant energy in the process of photosynthesis.



The inclusions (plastids) within plant cells which contain chlorophyll.



Preserving or protecting animals and resources such as minerals, water and plants through planned action (such as breeding endangered species) or non-action (such as not letting taps run unnecessarily).

Crown area


It is the area of horizontal projection of a tree crown on the ground.



Climate is usually defined as the "average weather", or more rigorously, as the statistical description of the weather in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over periods of several decades (typically three decades as defined by WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind, but in a wider sense the "climate" is the description of the state of the climate system.

Climate change


Any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. (The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change defines climate change as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”).

Climate variability


Variations in the mean state and other statistics (such as standard deviations and the occurrence of extremes) of the climate on all temporal and spatial scales beyond that of individual weather events. Variability may be due to natural internal processes in the climate system (internal variability), or to variations in natural or anthropogenic external forcing (external variability).

Commercial waste


All solid waste from businesses. This category includes, but is not limited to, solid waste originating in stores, markets, office buildings, restaurants, shopping centres and theatres.



Decomposed organic material that is produced when bacteria/earthworms in soil break down garbage and biodegradable trash, making organic fertiliser.



Protecting, using and saving resources wisely, especially the biodiversity found in an area.

Conservation tillage


Breaking the soil surface without turning over the soil.

Critically endangered


When a species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction.

Culturable non forest area (CNFA)


It is the net geographical area, lying outside recorded forest, which can support tree vegetation (thus excluding area under wetlands, riverbeds, perennial snow covered mountains, etc.). CNFA is the area over which the sample data on TOF is aggregated for the assessment of TOF growing stock .

Culturabl non forest cover area (CNFCA)


It is the net geographical area, lying outside recorded forest and forest cover, which can support tree vegetation (thus excluding area under wetlands, riverbeds, perennial snow covered mountains, etc.). CNFCA is the area over which the sample data is aggregated for the assessment of tree cover.