Jairam moots changes in forest act

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NEW DELHI - Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh Wednesday said the government will amend the Indian Forests Act to give more rights to local communities on forest resources.

“The success rate in preventing the degradation of forests goes up significantly when the user community has a direct economic stake in forests,” Ramesh said after inaugurating a seminar here.

“The government is re-visiting the Indian Forests Act, 1927, with a view to bringing about a more benign legal regime for the settlement of disputes between the forest officials and the local community,” he said.

The minister said that it was in tune with the Forest Rights Act of 2006.

“We are now trying to get away from state control of forests, as enshrined in the Forest Rights Act of 2006, to give the local community a stake in forest control,” he said.

The minister, however, clarified that the community-led model of forest control does not mean abdication of the states role.

In fact, the state would have to undertake a major responsibility in building the capacities of the user community in the preservation of forests,” he added.

Filed under: Environment

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