Forest Rights Act: well begun, and now Odisha is ready for the home run

Source: The post is based on the article “Forest Rights Act: well begun, and now Odisha is ready for the home run” published in The Hindu on 28th July 2022.

What is the News?

Odisha is one of the few states in the country which is nearer to completely implementing the provisions of the Forest Rights Act,2006.

It is the first State in the country to make budgetary provisions for the implementation of the Forest Rights Act in 2021-22. 

What is the Forest Rights Act,2006?
Forests Rights Act
Source: The Hindu

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. 

Individual Rights: The Act recognizes the Rights of Self-cultivation and habitation which are usually regarded as Individual rights.

Community Rights: It also recognizes community Rights such as Grazing, Fishing and access to Water bodies in forests, Habitat Rights for PVTGs, community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge or recognition of traditional customary rights.

– It also provides rights to the allocation of forest land for developmental purposes to fulfil the basic infrastructural needs of the community. 

Protection from Eviction: In conjunction with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Settlement Act, 2013 FRA protects the tribal population from eviction without rehabilitation and settlement.

Gram Sabha: The Act further enjoins upon the Gram Sabha and rights holders the responsibility of conservation and protection of biodiversity, wildlife, forests as well as to stop any destructive practices affecting these resources or cultural and natural heritage of the tribals. 

– The Gram Sabha is also a highly empowered body under the Act, enabling the tribal population to have a decisive say in the determination of local policies and schemes impacting them.

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