Forest Rights Act (FRA) will be made more powerful
Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MTA) have signed a joint communication for more effective implementation of The Forest Rights Act.
The joint Communication is oriented towards the rights and duties of forest dwellers and improves their participation in forest management.
Salient Features of Joint Letters
- The State Forest Department should provide assistance to the Institutions/Societies under the Forest Rights Act for preparation of Community Forest Resource Conservation and Management Plan.
- To increase the livelihood possibilities of Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST) and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD), coordination should be established between MoEFCC and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
About Forest Rights Act, 2006
The Act recognizes rights of FDSTs (dependent on forests for their habitat and their livelihood needs), and OTFDs (Any member who has lived for at least three generations before December 2005 and is dependent on forests) for forest resources.
Rights included in the Act:
- Individual Rights: Rights of residence and self-cultivation.
- Community Rights: Right of ownership, right to collection, use and disposal of minor forest produce; Right to in situ rehabilitation etc. The Gram Sabha is empowered to initiate the process for determining the nature and extent of individual and community rights.
- Implementation issues: Lack of coordination between tribal, revenue and forest departments, lack of recognition of community forest rights, rejection of claims due to lack of land records, etc.
Source – PIB