Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, has been enacted to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation of forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been residing in such forests for generations, but whose rights could not be recorded. This Act not only recognizes the rights to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self-cultivation for livelihood, but also grants several other rights to ensure their control over forest resources which, inter-alia, include right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest produce, community rights, habitat rights for primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities, right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use. The Act also provides for diversion of forest land for public utility facilities managed by the Government, such as schools, dispensaries, fair price shops, electricity and telecommunication lines, water tanks, etc. with the recommendation of Gram Sabhas.

 

Salient Features-

These are as follows-

  • The act recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in Forest land in forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD)who have been residing in such forests for generations.
  • The act also establishes the responsibilities and authority for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance of FDST and OTFD.
  • It strengthens the conservation regime of the forests while ensuring livelihood and food security of the FDST and OTFD
    • It seeks to rectify colonial injustice to the FDST and OTFD who are integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem.
    • The act identify four types of rights:

    1-Title rights-

    • It gives FDST and OTFD the right to ownership to land farmed by tribals or forest dwellers subject to a maximum of 4 hectares.
    • Ownership is only for land that is actually being cultivated by the concerned family and no new lands will be granted.

    2-Use rights-

    • The rights of the dwellers extend to extracting Minor Forest Produce, grazing areas, to pastoralist routes, etc.

    3-Relief and development rights-

    • To rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or forced displacement and to basic amenities, subject to restrictions for forest protection.

    4-Forest management rights-

    • It includes the right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use.

    .

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