What is the Forest Rights Act about? Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights? – Campaign for Survival and Dignity

Millions of people live in and near India’s forest lands, but have no legal right to their homes, lands or livelihoods.  A few government officials have all power over forests and forest dwellers. The result? Both forests and people die. This Act recognises forest dwellers’ rights and makes conservation more accountable. […] 

For the first time, this law also gives the community the right to protect and manage the forest. Section 3(1) (i) provide a right and a power to conserve community forest resources, while section 5 gives the community a general power to protect wildlife, forests, etc. This is vital for the thousands of village communities who are protecting their forests and wildlife against threats from forest mafias, industries and land grabbers, most of whom operate in connivance with the Forest Department.

Source: “What is the Forest Rights Act about?” – Campaign for Survival and Dignity (“a national platform of tribal and forest dwellers’ organisations in ten States”)
Address : https://www.forestrightsact.com/what-is-this-act-about
Date Visited: 31 July 2020

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The passage of the Scheduled Tribes and other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (2006), recognizing both the individual and community rights over forest and forest resources is an attempt to redress the “historical injustice” meted out to [200 million] tribals and OTFDs [other forest dwelling communities]

Source: Research team (Sayantani Satpathi, Shambhavi Singh & Subhodeep Basu) in “Revisiting the Forest Rights Act: Status of Implementation with respect to Land Tenures and Collection of Minor Forest Produce), Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (New Delhi, 12 July 2019), p. 3
URL: https://www.academia.edu/41756309/REVISITING_THE_FOREST_RIGHTS_ACT_Status_of_Implementation_with_respect_to_Land_Tenures_and_Collection_of_Minor_Forest_Produce?source=swp_share
Date visited: 4 October 2o202

The forest was never far away from habitation. For instance, excavations of the settlements at Atranjikhera and Hastinapur, which are not too far from Delhi, have yielded evidence of a large variety of forest trees. The Buddhist Canon states that aside from the village and its outskirts, the rest of the land is jungle. Travelling from one town to another meant going through a forest. Therefore, when in exile, the forest was not a physically distant place, although distant in concept.” – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) in “Forest dwellers in early India – myths and ecology in historical perspective” | Continue reading >>

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“The forests were ‘wastelands’ that needed to be tamed, settled and developed [according to the official 1960s plan by the Government of India to ‘colonize’ the Andaman and Nicobar Islands]. It did not matter that these forests were the home of myriads of plants and animals that had evolved over aeons. It did not matter that ancient tribal peoples were living here for centuries, neither that they were physically and spiritually sustained by these forests. The idea that forests could mean more than just the timber the trees provided had not even taken seed in the national consciousness.” – Pankaj Sekhsaria in Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story (Harper Litmus, 2017), pp. 4-5

Laws relating to forest protection in India a study with special reference to rights of forest dwellers


PhD thesis by Manleen Kaur (Department of Law, Panjab University 2017)

The present study relates to the legislations concerning forest protection and recognition of the rights forest dwellers. This study has tried to understand the problems faced by forest dwellers. It has endeavours to study the reasons behind the degredation of environment even though a pack of forest legislations exist. The questions which have been addressed in the research work are: firstly whether the existing laws ensure a greener tomorrow and secondly whether they give adequate opportunity to the forest dwellers to recognize forest rights and avail formal benefits.

Tips | Find details for search results from Shodhganga: a reservoir of Indian theses: Descriptions and associated PDF files available for browsing and downloading >>

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