In News: The Chhattisgarh government has become only the second state in the country (after Simlipal in Odisha) to recognize Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights of a village inside a national park (rights of tribals living in Gudiyapadar, a hamlet inside the Kanger Ghati National Park in Bastar district).
Community forest resource area:
- The common forest land that has been traditionally protected and conserved for sustainable use by a particular community.
- The community uses it to access resources available within the traditional and customary boundary of the village; and for seasonal use of landscape in case of pastoralist communities.
- Has a customary boundary with identifiable landmarks recognised by the community and its neighboring villages.
- It may include forest of any category – revenue forest, classified & unclassified forest, deemed forest, DLC land, reserve forest, protected forest, sanctuary and national parks, etc.
Community Forest Resource rights:
Provide for recognition of the right to “protect, regenerate or conserve or manage” the community forest resource.
- Rights allow the community to formulate rules for forest use by itself and others and thereby discharge its responsibilities under Section 5 of the FRA.
- Include nistar rights and rights over non-timber forest products, ensure sustainable livelihoods of the community.
- Authority to the Gram Sabha to adopt local traditional practices of forest conservation and management within the community forest resource boundary.
Aimed at undoing the “historic injustice” meted out to forest-dependent communities due to curtailment of their customary rights over forests, the FRA came into force in 2008.
- Recognises the community’s right to use, manage and conserve forest resources
- To legally hold forest land that these communities have used for cultivation and residence.
- Underlines the integral role that forest dwellers play in sustainability of forests and in conservation of biodiversity.
- Traditional dwellers then become a part of management of the protected forests using their traditional wisdom.
Challenge: Getting a consensus amongst various villages about their traditional boundaries.
Source: Indian Express