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  • 23 January, 2022

  • 12 Min Read

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

  • For restitution of deprived forest rights across India. It provides for Integrated conservation & livelihood rights of people.
  • It is a tool to empower local self governance; address livelihood security of ppl & issues of conservation & Management of natural resources & conservation governance.

  • For the 1st time, it recognises & secures Community rights + Individual rights; Right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resources, right to IPR & traditional knowledge with respect to biodiversity.
  • Mo Tribal Affairs = nodal agency. Applicable to Tribal & OTFD Communities.
  • It recognises forest rights of OTFD provided they have resided in forests for >= 3 generations prior to 13/12/2005.
  • Max limits of recognising rights on forest land = 4 ha.
  • It recognises the right of ownership access to collect, use & dispose of MFP by tribals. MFP includes all NTFP = Bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, leaves, med plants, roots, tubers etc.
  • Rights given will be heritable but not alienable or transferable.
  • FRA mandates that Gram Sabha have both right and power to protect, manage & conserve their forests. Gram sabha can initiate the process of determining the nature & extent of individual or community forest rights.
  • NP, WS included with Reserved Forests & Protected Forests for recognition of Rights.
  • Critically Wildlife Habitats
    1. The phrase ‘critical wildlife habitat’ is defined only in ST&OTFD Act, 2006. They are areas of NP and WS where it has been clearly established, case by case, on the basis of scientific and objective criteria that such areas are required to be kep as inviolate for the purpose of Wildlife conservation. CWH are absolutely free of human presence.
    2. MoTA is the nodal agency for FRA but MoEFCC is the agency to notify the guidelines.
    3. Chief Wildlife Warden of a state will notify an Expert Committee for the purpose of identification of critical wildlife habitats (CWH) in a national park or sanctuary. The Expert Committee will identify areas within national parks and sanctuaries, based on scientific and objective criteria relevant to the protected area, required to be kept inviolate for the purpose of wildlife conservation. Expert Committee shall carry out open consultations with all stakeholders. Hence CWH are declared by Central Govt only.
    4. For the first time in India, Baigas have been given Habitat Rights. District Level Committee shall ensure that all PVTGs receive habitat rights, in consultation with the concerned traditional institutions of PVTGs and their claims for habitat rights are filed before the concerned Gram Sabhas.

Source: TH

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