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Strengthening Participatory Forest Management in Himachal Pradesh: Way Forward Key Issues for discussion Sanjay Upadhyay Advocate Supreme Court and Managing.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening Participatory Forest Management in Himachal Pradesh: Way Forward Key Issues for discussion Sanjay Upadhyay Advocate Supreme Court and Managing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening Participatory Forest Management in Himachal Pradesh: Way Forward Key Issues for discussion Sanjay Upadhyay Advocate Supreme Court and Managing Partner, Enviro legal Defence Firm February 2015

2 A no of firsts in H.P. Ist Forest Sector Policy, 2005 Ist Forest Sector Policy, 2005 Ist Medicinal Plants Policy, 2006 Ist Medicinal Plants Policy, 2006 Eco-tourism Development Policy, 2006 Ist PES Policy, 2013 Ist PES Policy, 2013 H.P. Climate Change Action Plan

3 PFM- What is? Participatory forestry refers to processes and mechanisms which enable people with a direct stake in forest resources to be part of decision- making in all aspects of forest management, including policy formulation processes. ( FAO)

4 PFM Initiatives in the State The first GO on JFM came in 1993, primary objective of checking degradation in protected forests (PFs) and village common lands and to regenerate and rejuvenate those forest lands with the active participation of the local people, so that the access to fuel wood, fodder and other forest produce can be ensured to the local community H.P. Participatory Forest Management Regulations, Issued under the Indian Forest Act, Idea of ‘sustainable forest management’ for the first time. user groups Revised guidelines on Sanjhi Van Yojana in 2001 Rural livelihood enhancement and capacity building

5 HP Forest Sector Policy, 2005 The H.P. forest Sector policy of 2005 has participation as it core principle. Increased public participation in decision-making through involvement of civil societies and village communities through programs such as JFM/PFM, Better understanding of local people’s issues and their rights on forests and forest resources, Shift towards Decentralized and more people-oriented forestry especially in Scheduled Areas under PESA, Integration of participatory monitoring and evaluation in the sector,

6 HP Forest Sector Policy-2005 Inclusion of international forestry concerns and global commitments like SFM, UNFF and NBLI, Holistic management of forest sector considering watershed, bio diversity, wildlife habitats, recreation function of the sector, Promotion of certification for sustainable managed forests and green products (creating new global market for forest based services & products) under CDM, Decrease in subsidies and increased private participation in the sector, Enhanced livelihoods security of the forest dependent people of H.P., Democratic governance of forests with increased representation of women and other resource poor groups, and Systematic and appropriate land use in the SFM context, focusing on primary land use sectors, to increase productivity.

7 PFM and Forest Sector Policy, 2005 Diff. forest categories – Community Forests Review the local rights and concessions over forests from erstwhile princely states in the participatory manner given the depleting forest resources, reorganizations of state, and changing socio-economic status. equal responsibility on the right holders “to identify themselves with the protection, development and management of forests in order to ensure the continuity and sustainability of such rights and concessions Forest Sector Policy and Strategy Action Plan, 2006 ???

8 1. Legal sanctity to PFM- Is the current model appropriate? Is it appropriate to issue under Section 80 and 81 of IFA, 1927 Section 80 refers to “joint ownership of property”. Is it?? Although the main section changes it to “Interest” in forest or waste land. Sec 81- Unilateral “satisfaction” on performance! Although right to be hear exists. Why Section 28 –the concept of “village forest” not invoked? Suggested in ! A no of aspects could have been covered-M&E etc..recent devt.

9 2. Institutionalising VFDS So while the management has a legal sanctity but what about the instutition? VFDS to be registered under Societies Registration Act? Incentive versus Charitable model? Have we reached the stage of mature community based forest enterprises, Gram Panchayat Ward Level Are we ready to be producer company (s) by federating common forest based enterprise groups on specific, marketable forest based products? Mahila Mandals, Yuva mandals, User groups, Self Help Groups, graziers group

10 3. The legal consequence of the the shift from MoU to MoA? Has the MoA secured investments as well as be accountabality to communities?

11 4. Is there a clear benefit sharing arrangement under PFM? Is it a transparent mechanism? Does the community understand operations costs? How would it impact existing benefits? Is there a confusion between usufructs, timber and cash benefits? How does it plan to accommodate new regimes of benefits say under FRA, PESA? Are benefits commensurate with efforts? What are parameters to measure efforts and incremental benefits? Access and benefit sharing from use of bio resources- BD Act; NGT orders- any linkage to JFM?

12 5. Is there an independent dispute resolution mechanism? Is it known, notified, accessible to the participating communities? Elaborate arrangement –starting from Dy.Range level- but a “judge on his own cause “ model! Is the Conflict Resolution Group working? What are the legal consequences? Participatory conflict resolution mechanisms like Lok Van Adalats wherein PRIs, government departments, and other stakeholders will help resolve issues related to demarcation, rights and concessions, other grievances in forest area ( FP- 2005)

13 6. Is there a mechanism to deal with potential valid claims from outside? From neighbours (village and communities) on the allocated land What about potential conflicts from rights secure by settlement process? TD Rights? Timber distribution through “more participation, collective responsibility, and information. ( Forest Policy 2005) FRA claims such as rights of PVTGs; PACs, Community Intellectual Properties H.P. Forest (Timber Distribution to the Right Holders) Rules, 2013

14 7. VFDCs and Gram Sabhas – Suitability of institutions CAG Findings- Audit Objections MOEF response of VFDCs as a subset of Gram Sabha Specialised vs. general body argument

15 8. Implications of 8. Implications of The Forest Rights Act and Rules especially the September 2012 Amendment Rules FRA seeks to operationalise statutory committee for management, protection, conservation, use and regeneration of forests as Community Forset Resource as a Right. Confusion on Community Right; Development /Welfare Rights and Community Forest Resource Right! How would VFDCs cope with such committees as and when they are constituted? Confusion over forest rights and settled and recorded rights! Conservation and management plan versus micro plans, working plans, management plans?

16 9. Is JFM operationalised differently in scheduled areas? Especially in the light of the fact that the Gram Sabha is the statutory controlling authority of forests, among other things, under PESA? The omnibus powers granted to Gram Sabha for management of natural resources especially forests?

17 Ownership of minor forest produce under both PESA and FRA How does one deal with the ownership of minor forest produce under both PESA and FRA when compared with usufructs and privileges under JFM? HP Resin and Resin Products (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1981 Mandi Minor Forest Produce Exploitation and Export Act, 1937 (amended 1997) & Chamba Minor Forest Produce Exploitation and Export Act, 1943 (amended 2003) Now Transit Permit Privilege to Gram Sabha to ease transit of MFP under September 2012 Rules. Nationalisation versus Ownership? Tree Grass debate has been settled! IFA definition of tree needs amendment!

18 11. Eco-development Committees (EDCs) Is there any need for giving Eco- development Committees (EDCs) legal sanctity? Does such Institutions facilitate external aid? What is the response to the BCRLIP Model ? Are we contemplating a landscape institutional model?

19 12. Unique Experiments- Kangra District Cooperative Forest Societies -1940s Why did it not replicate? Where is the problem? Devbans (sacred groves), etc. Any recognition in the PFM frame? Rakhas (Village forest guards) Rakha -an example of how village and the forest department jointly employed a village forest guard for everyday forest management of both government forests as well as common and private forests in old Kangra, Una, Lahual, and Hamirpur districts. Any linkage to these old systems?

20 Unique Experiments: PES; Ecotourism and PFM? Community Based Eco Tourism- Eco Tourism Policy, 2006 Mechanism for partnership with local communities and private enterprise committed to the goals of ecotourism SPV-Ecotourism-FCA? What’s the Linkage between VFDS and Ecotourism? HP Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Policy, 2013 Has it been operationalized? How does one see it in relation to CAMPA and GIM funds? HP Medicinal Plant Policy Concepts of MPCAs, Role of HPSFC, Ltd – Is there a linkage with VFDS? Esp Benefit sharing models?

21 13. Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves under WLPA? The protected area regime introduced two community based institutions on government land and community owned or private land namely conservation reserve and community reserves under the Wildlife Protection Act. Have we analysed the reason for the failure of such institutions under the PA regime?

22 14. Global Developments and local relevance-REDD + Does our communIty understand global developements such as REDD+? Or they are mere slogans for them! What is our stand on national, subnational and nested approach under a future REDD+ regime?

23 15. JFM and REDD+ Is the JFM benefit sharing arrangement matured enough to deal with future REDD+ benefits Does it address the tenure security concerns? Does it address the Indigenous People’s ( tribal’s) concerns?

24 16. REDD+ measurements of carbon and community Can REDD+ measurements of carbon be done through easy community based models? How do we engage communities in MRV ( monitoring; reporting and verification) ?

25 17. VFDCs and CAMPA Should VFDCs or other forest based communities monitor CAMPA investments? Can VFDCs or other forest based communities monitor CAMPA investments?

26 18. VFDCs and Forest Clearances Should VFDCs or other forest based communities monitor FC conditions? Can VFDCs or other forest based communities monitor FC conditions?

27 Community based forest enterprises Can there be a special hand holding mechanism ( INSTITUTION) for developing community based forest enterprises?

28 20. Post Claim Strategy and Forest Dwelling Communities Have we intervened enough for community buy in through post claim handholding on FRA claimed land? Dovetailing other programs on forestry and community livelihoods is no more a luxury but a necessity. So what is the post claim strategy? Is there an institutional response?

29 21. JFMCs and 21. JFMCs and other community based institutions on Natural Resources Management? Are we engaging with other community based instutions such as Watershed Committees; Water Users Associations, Biodiversity Management Committees? Is there an institutional response?

30 Alignment with other forest related Acts and Rules Village Forests under IFA, 1927 The Himachal Pradesh Village Common Lands Vesting and Utilization Act, 1974 S hamlat tarat, pati, pannas, common ghasinis, and thala The 1952 Notification dispute and implications of PFM The Nautor Rules conflict and FCA! Does it impact PFM? HP Land Revenue Act, 1953 HP Private Forests Act, 1954 and Rules 1969 HP Forest Produce Transit (Land Routes) Rules, 1978, and Amendment, 1993 HP Land Preservation Act, 1978 and Rules 1983 HP Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1982 HP Resin and Resin Products (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1981 H.P. Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, Notfn of 2000 and Forest Committees; PESA Amendments 2011

31 THANK YOU


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