Explained: What are community forest rights, why do they matter?

What is the News?

The Chhattisgarh government has recognised the Community Forest Resource(CFR) rights of tribals living in Gudiyapadar, a hamlet inside the Kanger Ghati National Park in Bastar.

With this, Chhattisgarh has become only the second state in the country to recognise CFR rights of a village inside a national park.

What is a Community Forest Resource(CFR)?

The Community Forest Resource area is the common forest land that has been traditionally protected and conserved for sustainable use by a particular community. 

The community uses it to access resources available within the traditional and customary boundary of the village and for seasonal use of landscape in the case of pastoralist communities.

What are Community Forest Resource(CFR) rights?

These rights are recognised under Section 3(1)(i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (commonly referred to as the Forest Rights Act or the FRA).

They provide for recognition of the right to “protect, regenerate or conserve or manage” the community forest resource.

These rights allow the community to formulate rules for forest use by itself and others and thereby discharge its responsibilities under Section 5 of the FRA.

What is the significance of CFR Rights?

CFR rights along with Community Rights(CRs) which include nistar rights and rights over non-timber forest products ensure sustainable livelihoods of the community.

These rights give the authority to the Gram Sabha to adopt local traditional practices of forest conservation and management within the community forest resource boundary.

These rights also underline the integral role that forest dwellers play in the sustainability of forests and in the conservation of biodiversity.

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What are community forest rights, why do they matter?” published in Indian Express on 27th May 2022.

Print Friendly and PDF