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Unformatted text preview: SPECIAL ARTICLE Economic & Political Weekly EPW July 24, 2010 vol xlv no 30 65 I am grateful to the Jamsetji Tata Trust, Mumbai for providing financial support for this study through the Research Unit for Livelihoods and Natural Resources at the Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad. The support from the government of Kerala and its various departments is also acknowledged. Jyothis Sathyapalan ( [email protected] ) is with the Research Unit for Livelihoods and Natural Resources, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad. Implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the Western Ghats Region of Kerala JYOTHIS SATHYAPALAN This study of the implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006 in the Western Ghats of Kerala identifies the main constraints to the working of the legislation. Community rights and conservation provisions seem to be ignored. The paper also highlights the importance of integrating the implementation of the FRA with the participatory forest management programmes for providing community rights to the use of forests products. It also recommends a need for sensitising communities to various provisions of the legislation. T he Forest Rights Act, 2006 ( FRA ), is considered an important landmark in the history of forest resource use and man- agement in India. The Act aims at restoring traditional rights of forest dwellers on the one hand, and maintaining the ecologi- cal balance on the other with a view to provide sustainable liveli- hood options to forest dwelling scheduled tribes ( ST s) and provid- ing other traditional forest dwellers, including those who were forced to relocate their dwellings due to state intervention. Thus, the underlying objective of the Act has been to strike a balance between the potentially conflicting interests of the forest dwell- ing communities and protecting forests and wildlife resources. The Section 3 of the FRA recognises the traditional forest rights of the communities (who live in the forest) both at the individual and community levels. At the individual level, it recognises their rights, to hold a piece of forest land either for self-cultivation or for any other common occupation or habitation so as to ensure their livelihood. At the community level, it recognises their rights to access minor forest products other than timber, and to carry out fishing activities in water bodies besides traditional and sea- sonal access to pastoral communities and nomadic tribes for grazing, protecting community forests, accessing biodiversity and claiming intellectual property rights over traditional knowl- edge and cultural diversity. 1 The FRA also provides powers to the government for diverting forest land to build schools, dispensa- ries, anganwadies, fair price shops, electric and telecommunica- tion lines, drinking water facilities, etc. However, the FRA makes it clear that the forest land, which can be diverted for other uses, is less than one hectare (for any single use) provided the felling of...
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This note was uploaded on 07/31/2010 for the course FIN 201 taught by Professor Hcverma during the Summer '10 term at IIT Kanpur.
- Summer '10