Country Risk Profiles

About India

Most of the natural forests in India are state-owned and managed. Such forests in India are legally recognized through government notifications based on the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA) and the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (WPA). The forests are classified as unclassed, Reserved Forests (as notified under IFA 1927) and Wildlife Sanctuaries or National Parks (notified under WPA, 1972) and, for very sensitive ecosystems, Biosphere Reserves under ... VIEW MORE

India has around 70 million hectares of forests, which covers 24% of the country. Around 15.7 million hectares are primary forest, 43 million hectares of otherwise naturally regenerated forest, and around 12 million hectares are planted forest. The total forest area is increasing by around 1 million hectares a year. About 85% of the forest area is publicly owned, and 15% privately owned (FAO, 2015). Most of the public forests are administered by the government, and some of them by communities and indigenous groups. India produced almost 50 million m3 of logs in 2014, of which only a small proportion was exported. The export value of primary timber products exceeded USD 80 million (ITTO, 2015). Illegal logging and trade of high-value timber is a major problem in many parts of the country. In 2009. the Ministry of Environment and Forests estimated that 2 million m3 of logs were illegally felled per year. Several legality risks are present in India, relating to legal rights to harvest, taxes and fees, timber harvesting activities, third parties' rights, and trade and transport. As India is one of the world’s largest importers of wood-based products, it is also a major consumer of illegal timber. The volume of illegal imports has increased, and in 2012 almost 20% of timber imports were estimated to be illegal. There has been limited acknowledgement of the problem within the country, and little response from the government (Chatham House, 2014). Companies sourcing timber from India should take care to ensure the risks identified are not present in their supply chains, or have been sufficiently mitigated. VIEW LESS

Description of source types

Source types describe the possible origins of a commodity from within a country. Knowing the “source type” that timber originates from is useful because different source types can be subject to different applicable legislation and have attributes that affect the risk of non-compliance with the legislation.
Source Type
Government Reserved Forests/ Unclassed Forests
Timber from Government Reserved Forests/ Unclassed Forests (can be natural forests, plantations, degraded areas or barren land), managed solely by the State Forest Department or jointly by the State Forest Department and local communities through Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs). May only be harvested by Forest Department. Forest Working Plans (Forest Management Prescriptions as per the National Working Plan Code for a period of ten years) must be in place, and consignments must be accompanied by a transit pass which details the origin and destination of the consignment.
Private plantations
span style="font-size: 11pt;">Timber from private plantations, including block plantations, agroforestry plantations, farm forestry plantations, industrial plantations, etc. Permits are required from Forest Department or local panchayats (local elected representative bodies) as per harvesting rules for specific species. A harvest permission letter from Forest Department/ local government (panchayat) head is required, but the requirement for a transit pass is optional as per transit rules. In cases where the transit pass requirement is waived, substitute documents such as Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) tax receipts are considered legal documents.

CPI score

40, updated 2023

Armed Conflicts

With continued violence in Kashmir and a heightened threat of terrorist activity by Pakistan-based militant groups, tensions and concerns over a serious military confrontation between nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan remain high (Global Conflict Tracker). According to the Uppsala Conflict Data Program there were 8 598 deaths from 2010-2019.

Voluntary Partnership Agreement

No Data


FSC certified area: 0.131 Mha, updated April 1, 2023

Bans & Restrictions

All CITES-listed species (appendices I, II and III) from natural forests are banned from being exported for commercial purposes. Cultivated species in Appendices I and II are permitted to be exported

Risk Species

Name CITES I CITES II CITES III IUCN Redlist Special attention
No records found


Tree cover loss

Tree cover loss”. Accessed on 01/01/2023 from www.globalforestwatch.org. The graph shows year-by-year tree cover loss, defined as stand level replacement of vegetation greater than 5 meters in the country. Note that “tree cover loss” is not the same as “deforestation” – tree cover loss includes change in both natural and planted forest, and does not need to be human caused. The data from 2011 onward were produced with an updated methodology that may capture additional loss. Comparisons between the original 2001-2010 data and future years should be performed with caution.

Overview of mitigation options organised by source type

Source Type
Number of risks
Document verification
Stakeholder Consultation
Field Verification
Scientific Testing
Government Reserved Forests/ Unclassed Forests
Private plantations
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