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

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A Ten-year Review

Promise and Performance of the Forest Rights Act

The Forest Rights Act, 2006 has the potential to democratise forest governance by recognising community forest resource rights over an estimated 85.6 million acres of India’s forests, thereby empowering over 200 million forest dwellers in over 1,70,000 villages. However, till date, only 3% of this potential area has been realised.

December 2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the promulgation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (hereinafter FRA). FRA was enacted in response to an unprecedented public mobilisation of forest dwellers for rights over forestland (Kumar and Kerr 2012). It also sought to redress historical injustices meted out to Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers in the creation of forest estates in the colonial era. FRA recognises 14 types of pre-existing rights of forest dwellers on all categories of forestland, including protected areas. The most significant rights include,

(i) Individual rights over cultivation and homesteads in forestlands, that is individual forest rights (IFRs);

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Updated On : 11th Jul, 2017

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