Study of Community Forest Resources by Ministry of Tribal Affairs

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs recently commissioned a study about Community Forest resource Rights. According to the study, broad guidelines are needed to implement Community Forest Rights.

Legislation

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) act, 2006, also called the FRA act defines the Community Forest resource Rights. The FRA also says that a village shall get its traditionally held forest land. It provides the Gram Sabhas the right to protect, conserve and regenerate.

Suggestions provided by the Study

Apart from FRA act, 2006, the 73rd amendment of the constitution also empowers the Gram Sabhas to govern community forests. However, there are no guidelines to implement Community Forest Rights. The State Governments should create guidelines according the locals and their traditions. It should also focus on capacity building of Gram Sabha members. Micro-plans should be prepared so that the Gram Sabhas shall facilitate sustainable forest management.

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