A recent study conducted by the Cornell University based Jocelyn I Lee and Steven A Wolf on the Forest Rights Act has revealed the implementation of the Act (FRA) to be less than satisfactory. The Forest Rights Act (FRA), enacted by the Government of India in 2006, was framed to correct the injustice done to the forest-dwellers and tribals in India over the ages. The legislation concerns the forest-dwelling communities to the right of land and other resources, which have been denied them for a long time. The recent survey has revealed discrepancies in the outcome of claims submitted under the FRA in different states.A huge variation in the outcome of claims being met was recorded, in such that states which have larger forest cover have recorded a higher claim distribution rate, while those of the states with presence of left-wing extremism are associated with higher claim rejection rates. The study brings to focus “important governance tensions underlying prospects for environmental conservation through decentralisation of forest management authority”. It points out that the “local political climate and interests, along with existing ecological conditions, may mediate implementation of forest policy reforms in an important way.” Experts working on this issue on the ground-level believe the biggest hurdles in proper implementation of the FRA Act are the forest bureaucracy apathy and conflicting corporate interests.
— As reported by Mongabay
Cover Photo: Studies estimate that FRA Act’s proper implementation can benefit around 200 million forest dwellers. Photo by Mayank Aggarwal/Mongabay-India.