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Recognition of Community Forest Resource (CER) rights of tribals

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Recognition of Community Forest Resource (CER) rights of tribals

Recently Chhattisgarh has recognized Community Forest Resource (CER) rights of tribal of Kanger Valley National Park.

  • The Kanger Valley National Park has become the second protected area in the country to recognize community forest resources (CER) rights. The first protected area is Simlipal of Odisha.
  • Community forest resource area is common forest land. It is traditionally protected and preserved for sustainable use by a particular community.
  • It may include any category of forests, such as: revenue forests, classified and unclassified forests, deemed forests, reserved forests, protected forests, sanctuaries, national parks, etc.
  • CFR rights have been recognized under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (FRA),

Provisions:

  • It recognizes forest rights and subsistence in forest land to Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been living in such forests for generations but whose rights have not been recorded.
  • It allows the community to make rules for forest use by itself and others.
  • It empowers the Gram Sabha to adopt local traditional practices of forest conservation and management within the community forest resource limits.

The Forest Rights Act (FRA) recognizes community rights (CR) and community forest resource rights in the following:

  • Wildlife sanctuary,
  • Tiger reserve,
  • National Park and all forest land.

Importance of this decision-

  • It empowers the villagers,
  • Encourages community-based conservation,
  • Strengthens the means of livelihood and food security for the community.
  • Underlines the essential role of forest dwellers in the sustainability of forests and conservation of biodiversity.
  • Attempts to correct the “historic injustice” faced by forest-dependent communities due to the curtailment of their traditional rights over forests.

Source- The Hindu

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