For a long time, a considerable number of people, particularly tribal tribes, have lived in and around woods in symbiotic partnerships. During the colonial period, the emphasis switched from woods being used as a resource base for local community sustenance to forests being exploited as a State resource for commercial interests and land development for agriculture. Several Acts and policies, including the Central Government’s three Indian Forest Acts of 1865, 1894, and 1927, as well as various state forest Acts, limited centuriesold, customaryuse rights of local populations. This lasted even after independence until 2006, when the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act was passed.
- Lack of Awareness: There is a significant level of unawareness among lower-level forest
- authorities who are expected to assist in the processing of forest rights claims, and the bulk of the aggrieved populace is also unaware of their rights.The forest administration has regarded the FRA as a tool to legalise encroachment rather than a welfare measure for tribals.
- Administrative Ignorance: Because tribals do not have a large vote bank in most states, governments find it easier to sabotage FRA or ignore it entirely in favour of monetary rewards.
- Dilution of the Act: Some environmentalists are concerned that the FRA favours individual rights above community rights, leaving less room for communal rights.
- Institutional Barrier: Gram Sabha prepares rough maps of community and individual rights, which frequently lacks technical know-how and educational ability.
- Reluctance of the forest bureaucracy to relinquish control: The forest bureaucracy fears losing its vast authority over land and people, while corporations fear losing inexpensive access to rich natural resources.
- Community Rights effectively provides the local people authority over forest resources, which continue to account for a large percentage of forest earnings, making states leery of granting Gram Sabha forest rights.
- To make it easier for the Gram Sabha to identify and file claims for individual and community rights, the appropriate maps and records should be made available to the Forest Rights Committee and claimants.
- It is critical to design a clear plan for training and capacity building of those in charge of implementing the FRA, such as Panchayats, Gram Sabhas, village level Forest Rights committees, and so on.
- At the local level, large-scale awareness and information distribution initiatives informing both tribe and lower-level authorities are necessary.
- Clarifying the time restriction for resolving disputes. The Act makes no mention of a time restriction for settling claims.
- The Centre should be more aggressive in pressuring states to uphold a legislation that has the potential to alter the lives of millions of people.
How to structure:
- Give an intro about Tribals in India and the Forest Rights Act of 2006
- Examine the problems associated with its implementation and the significance of the act
- Suggest measures to ensure that the major principle of the act is followed