The Recent Supreme Court Order on Forest Rights Act (FRA) Does Not Affect Genuine Claimants

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PRESS RELEASE FROM PETITIONERS IN THE FOREST RIGHTS CASE

On February 13th 2019, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Arun Mishra issued an extremely important order in Writ Petition 109 of 2008 to ensure protection of forests, which have been severely affected due to ineligible/bogus claimants under the Forest Rights Act (FRA). Such claimants continue to occupy a huge area of forestland, including within National Parks and Sanctuaries, even though their claims have been rejected after … Read More

Defragmenting Nature

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THE three proclaimed goals of the proposed law, ‘Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill’ (or Forests Rights Act FRA) – the bill hereafter – are:

  1. To redress past social injustices perpetrated against forest dwelling tribal people, to improve their socio-economic conditions, and
  2. To protect India’s natural biodiversity under a new conservation paradigm rooted in the traditional ecological wisdom of the tribal people. No one can disagree with these objectives expressed by activists who genuinely champion adivasi causes. However, the
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Tribal Family Prefers Voluntary Relocation Over Forest Rights

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On January 17, 2014, Padmaiah Malekudiya, whose family had been living on about 2 acres of encroached forestland in Bijjale enclosure, Mala Village of Karkala Taluk, Kudremukh, chose to renounce the rights he had acquired under the Forests Rights Act, 2006 in favor of a fresh start and a better life outside, thanks to fair and just compensation from the government.

Through a landmark order dated 9th January 2014, the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi, M. T. Reju, provided a compensation … Read More

NTFP Collection and its Impact on Forests in the BR Hills, Karnataka

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Although the collection of NTFPs (Non-Timber Forest Products) is an age-old practice in India and many other parts of the world, there is little concrete knowledge about the sustainability of long-term, intensive extraction of forest fruits, roots, shoots, bark, resins and other products, and what ecological changes follow the commercialization of an NTFP. Such information is required – by foresters, conservationists and local people – to understand the ways in which wild resources are being manipulated, the subsequent ecological impacts, Read More

Whose Forest Is It Anyway?

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The Saxena Committee’s recipe for redressing historic injustices to forest dwellers will precipitate an ecological crisis write Praveen Bhargav and Shekar Dattatri.

While there has been a huge uproar over the auctioning of the 2G spectrum at throwaway prices to private corporations, a far more valuable asset of the nation, biodiversity, is to be handed over to thousands of Grama Sabhas for virtually unregulated and limitless exploitation. This is one of the key recommendations of the Saxena Committee, which was … Read More

Some Insights into the Forests Rights Act (FRA)

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Preamble

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) was enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded.

Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First, opines that the FRA has several fundamental flaws, and takes you through four critical aspects that not only Read More

The Myth of Harmonious Co-existence

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This article appended below was published as a lead Op Ed in The Hindu, India’s National Newspaper, on August 13, 2005, and is also available online. It was written specifically to contest the views in a new bill that was being debated in the Indian Parliament, giving ‘forest dwellers’ permanent land rights within India’s tiny and shrinking forest areas, including National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Tiger Reserves. The lobbies fighting for this bill, which is now a full fledged Act Read More