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Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022

  • IASbaba
  • July 12, 2022
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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In News: New forest rules dilute tribal rights.

  • Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022.

Key Provisions

Formation of Committees:

  • It constituted an Advisory Committee, a regional empowered committee at each of the integrated regional offices and a screening committee at State/Union Territory (UT) government-level.

Advisory Committee:

  • The role of the Advisory Committee is restricted to advise or recommend with regards to grant of approval under relevant sections in respect of proposals referred to it and any matter connected with the conservation of forests referred to it by the Central government.

Project Screening Committee:

  • The MoEFCC has directed the constitution of a project screening committee in each state/UT for an initial review of proposals involving diversion of forest land.
  • The five-member committee will meet at least twice every month and will advise the state governments on projects in a time bound manner.

Regional Empowered Committees:

  • All linear projects (roads, highways, etc), projects involving forest land up to 40 hectares and those that have projected a use of forest land having a canopy density up to 0.7 — irrespective of their extent for the purpose of survey — shall be examined in the Integrated Regional Office.

Responsibility to states:

  • States are given the responsibility of settling forest rights of forest dwellers (Forest Rights Act, 2006) and allowing diversion of forest land.

Allows compensatory afforestation (CA) in other states:

  • If the state already has over two-thirds area under green cover or over one-third area under forest cover, then CA could be taken in other states/UTs where the cover is less than 20%

Concerns

  • The new Forest Conservation Rules do not mention the earlier requirement of attaining a gram sabha NOC before diverting forest land for a project.
  • They also allow forest rights to be settled after the final approval for forest clearances has been granted by the Centre
  • Since forest rights now needs to be carried out by the state government, state governments will be under even greater pressure from the Centre to accelerate the process of diversion of forest land

Source: Indian Express

Previous Year Question

Q.1) Consider the following statements: (2019)

  1. As per recent amendment to the Indian Forest Act, 1927, forest dwellers have the right to fell the bamboos grown on forest areas.
  2. As per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, bamboo is a minor forest produce.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 allows ownership of minor forest produce to forest dwellers.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1, 2 and 3

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