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  • 01 September, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Community Forest Resource Rights

Community Forest Resource Rights

  • The Mungeli district of Chhattisgarh has granted community forest resource rights to residents in four villages (CFRR).
  • Following Udanti Sitanadi Tiger Reserve in the Dhamtari district, Achanakmar became the second tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh to receive CFRR.

About Community Forest Resource

Image Source - Sharbendu

  • Common forest land that has traditionally been preserved and safeguarded for a specific community's sustainable usage is known as a Community Forest Resource (CFR) area.
  • The community uses it to access resources that are located within the village's traditional and customary boundaries as well as for pastoralist communities' seasonal use of the terrain.
  • Each CFR region has a traditional boundary that includes recognisable sights that are known to the locals and to the villages around.
  • Any type of forest may be included, including revenue forests, classified and unclassified forests, considered forests, DLC (District Level Committee) lands, reserve forests, protected forests, sanctuaries, and national parks, among others.

About Community Forest Resource Rights

  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (commonly known as the Forest Rights Act) recognizes the right to "guard, regenerate or conserve or manage" the communal forest resource. This right is outlined in Section 3(1)(i).
  • CFR rights, in conjunction with Community Rights (CRs) under Sections 3(1)(b) and 3(1)(c), which include nistar rights and rights over non-timber forest products, ensure the community's ability to develop rules for the use of the forest by itself and others and fulfil its obligations under Section 5 of the FRA.
  • Once CFRR is acknowledged by a community, ownership of the forest shifts from the forest department to the Gram Sabha.
  • The Gram Sabha effectively takes on the role of the central administration for forest management.
  • These rights allow the Gram Sabha the power to adopt regional customs for forest management and conservation inside the community's forest resource border.
  • Kanger Ghati National Park is the only national park in which Chhattisgarh has recognized CFR rights, making it the second state to do so.
  • The Simlipal National Park's Community Forest Resources (CFRs) was first acknowledged by the Odisha government in 2016 as a separate entity.

Significance of CFR

  • The FRA went into effect in 2008 with the intention of redressing the "historic injustice" meted out to communities dependent on forests due to the restriction of their customary rights over forests.
  • It is significant because it affirms the community's legal ownership of the forest land that these groups have long used for farming and habitation as well as their right to use, manage, and maintain its resources.
  • Additionally, it emphasizes how crucial forest inhabitants are to maintaining forests and preserving biodiversity.
  • It has more significance in protected forests like national parks, sanctuaries, and tiger reserves because locals there use their traditional knowledge to manage the protected woods.

Also, Read - Challenging the Special Marriage Act, 1954

Source: The Indian Express

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