SHILLONG: There is a decrease in the forest cover in the State as per an official report. The decline is a cause of concern considering the ecological impact it could have in the area.

While the forest cover in the State was 77.23 per cent as per the report in 2009, the percentage stands at 77.02 in 2011 showing a decline of 0.23 per cent. Rampant felling of trees in West Khasi Hills coupled with encroachment of forest areas by people in parts of Garo Hills have resulted in the loss of forest cover. There are also reports of deforestation in Garo Hills.