IMPROVEMENT OF THE LIVELIHOOD OF FOREST DEPENDENT COMMUNITIES Dr. Prabhakar Dubey Assistant Inspector General of Forests Government of India
INTRODUCTION Enactment of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006 by the Indian Parliament in December 2006.
RATIONALE Correcting the historical injustice done to forest dwelling communities during the process of forest reservation in the past. Poverty alleviation through enhancing the opportunities for economic and social development by ensuring secure rights to land and products. Better forest conservation and management through the involvement of local communities.
SALIENT FEATURES Tribal and other traditional forest dwelling communities have been granted wide-ranging rights including: Right to ownership of forest land for habitation and cultivation. Right to collect, use and dispose of non-wood forest products. Other community rights including grazing, fishing, etc. Right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity
SALIENT FEATURES Duties on the part of the beneficiaries Protection of forests, biodiversity and wildlife. Protection of catchments, watersheds and ecologically sensitive areas. Habitat protection to preserve cultural and natural heritage of the tribal communities and forest dwellers. Adherence to the decisions of the “Gram Sabha”
INSTITUTIONAL ARRNGEMENTS FOR IMPLEMENTATION Grass root level involvement in implementing the Act: The authority for determining the rights and implementing the provisions vests with the “Gram sabhas” which consists of all adult members of the village. Decisions by “Gram sabhas” subject to review by Sub- divisional level and district level committees. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs as the nodal government agency for implementation.
WHERE WE STAND NOW Preparation of the detailed rules and regulations under way. Building up the capacity of institutions to implement the change.