Forest Rights Act can also be referred to as the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006. This Act identifies and acknowledges the rights of forest dwellers and tribal communities over forest resources. As we are aware, these communities heavily depend upon the forest for their survival and livelihood.
Significance of Forest Rights Act
From shelter to food, most of the tribes' needs are satisfied by the forests. None of the laws, Acts, or Provisions made before this Act in the pre and post-colonial period recognised the unique symbiotic relationship scheduled tribes to share with the forests. This Act was introduced to encourage the tribal communities to use the natural forest resources however they like and protect them from unjust evictions.
It also offers the tribal population the power to have a say in the decision-making process for policies, laws, and schemes affecting them.
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Objectives of FRA 2006
- To ensure the continual livelihood, land tenure, and food security for all scheduled tribes and forest dwellers.
- To increase the strength of the forests conservation regime by including the responsibility and authority of Forest Rights holders for sustainable use.
- Preservation of biodiversity and maintaining the balance in our ecosystem
- To undo the years of historical injustice that the tribal communities were subjected to
Rights under FRA 2006
The rights under FRA 2006 are divided into four categories. They are -
It gives forest dwellers the right to utilize grazing areas for their cattle, extract minor forest produce, etc.
It gives the OTFD and FDST the ownership right to the land cultivated by tribal communities and forest dwellers. The maximum limit of land ownership is up to 4 hectares.
This ownership right is only applicable to the land that the particular family is cultivating. No other lands will be granted.
Forest Management Rights
It consists of the right to converse, manage, safeguard and regenerate any community forest resource. Tribal communities have been traditionally protecting and preserving forest resources for sustainable usage.
Relief and Developmental Rights
Tribal communities, including forest dwellers, have the right to rehabilitate in situations where they are illegally evicted or forcefully displaced.
The right to access basic amenities following the restrictions made for forest protection
Forest dwellers and tribal communities have lived in forests since before the dawn of civilization. Their special symbiotic relationship with the forest allows them to ensure their survival even during drastic times. The introduction of the Forest Rights Act in 2006 (FRA 2006) has helped protect the interests and lifestyles of several indigenous tribes.
FAQs on Forest Rights Act [FRA] 2006
Q1. In the context of the FRA 2006, who has the authority over the IFR or Individual Forest Rights?
Ans. With regards to the FRA 2006, the Gram Sabha is the authoritative figure for deciding the extent and nature of IFR or CFR (Community Forest Rights.)
Q2. What are the challenges faced by Forest Rights Act 2006?
Ans. Institutional hurdles, administrative apathy, dilution of the Act, and misuse of the Forest Rights Act are some of the few issues faced by the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
Q3. Is the FRA 2006 applicable in Jammu and Kashmir?
Ans. After 14 years, the government of Jammu and Kashmir have decided to implement the Forest Rights Act 2006 in their state.
Q4. Which Constitutional Provisions are enhanced by the FRA 2006?
Ans. The Forest Rights Act 2006 supports the mandate of the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.