Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

Forest rights act


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Community forest rights

Mains level: Tribal welfare

forest right actContext

  • There is a surge in demand by forest communities to not only access the resources of their habitat, but also to establish their ownership over forests as forest rights act in not meeting its objective.

What is the news?

  • Residents of 18 villages in Chhattisgarh’s Udanti Sitanadi Tiger Reserve blocked the busy National Highway 130C.

What tribal people say?

  • “We need forest resources for survival. Being a tiger reserve, we already lead a life with many restrictions. There is no power supply, access to grazing lands is non-existent and we cannot undertake construction works,” says Arjun Nayak of Nagesh, one of the 18 villages in Gariaband district.

forest right actWhat is forest rights act 2006?

  • The Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 recognizes the rights of the forest dwelling tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources, on which these communities were dependent for a variety of needs, including livelihood, habitation and other socio-cultural needs.
  • It aimed to protect the marginalised socio-economic class of citizens and balance the right to environment with their right to life and livelihood.

forest right actWhat are individual rights under FRA act?

  • The Act encompasses Rights of Self-cultivation and Habitationwhich are usually regarded as Individual rights.

What are community forest rights under FRA act?

  • Community Rights as Grazing, Fishing and access to Water bodies in forests, Habitat Rights for PVTGs, Traditional Seasonal Resource access of Nomadic and Pastoral community, access to biodiversity, community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge, recognition of traditional customary rights and right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource for sustainable use.

Case study / Value addition

Chargaon village, Dhamtari district, Chhattisgarh

Migration has drastically reduced due to economic benefits after getting CFRR. Success in improving quality of tendu leaves with better management practices, increasing income.

forest right actIssues with Forest rights act

  • Non responsive states: The forest rights claims of these tribes and forest-dwellers are mostly rejected by the States.
  • Improper claims: Being poor and illiterate, living in remote areas, they do not know the appropriate procedure for filing claims.
  • Low awareness: The gram sabhas, which initiate the verification of their claims, are low on awareness of how to deal with them.

forest right actWhy are forest rights important for tribals?

  • Justice: Aimed at undoing the “historic injustice” meted out to forest-dependent communities due to curtailment of their customary rights over forests, the FRA came into force in 2008.
  • Livelihood: It is important as it recognises the community’s right to use, manage and conserve forest resources, and to legally hold forest land that these communities have used for cultivation and residence.
  • Conservation: It also underlines the integral role that forest dwellers play in the sustainability of forests and in the conservation of biodiversity.


Despite the contentious and debatable nature of this law, the importance and necessity of the FRA, 2006 can not be negated completely. The law assumes even more significant importance when the country is a developing economy and is full-fledged following the path of capitalism, thus making it even more substantial to provide a redressal mechanism for vulnerable and marginalised communities and groups, such as the Adivasis and the other similar tribes, from the necessary evil of development and infrastructural growth while also safeguarding their traditions, heritage and identity that forms an important part of the nation’s cultural diversity as well.

Mains question

Q. There is a surge in demand by forest communities to not only access the resources of their habitat, but also to establish their ownership over forests. In this context analyse the issues with working of FRA 2006.

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