ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Are You Talking about ‘Jungle Patta’?

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 attempts to empower forest-dwellers for their own governance. This article examines the validity of conservationists’ apprehension of “land loot” after 10 years of implementation of the act. It shows, with empirical evidence from West Bengal, that actual land recognition is far less compared to what has been stated in the act. In effect, recording of land rights became a contraction of legal access to existing forest resources, which might lead to conflicts in future. The state used this act for political benefits, reducing it to a mere “beneficiary scheme” of panchayat-level governance, with the whole implementation becoming a patta -giving exercise to forest-dwellers.

Flood Disasters and Forest Villagers in Sub-Himalayan Bengal

Conservation policies to protect wildlife and biodiversity ignore the basic survival needs and imperatives of local people. This article aims to show how conservation policies trigger floods in protected areas, especially those located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain ranges, leading to huge damage to plantations and habitats as well as settlements of the local people. It also explores what forest villagers do when the whole village is destroyed by a natural disaster and the socio-economic consequences in the post-displacement period.
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