Draft Forest Policy and Tribals
“The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change had kept the Draft National Forest Policy, 2018 in public domain for comments.
The basic thrust of the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 is for conservation, protection and management of forests along with addressing other issues associated with forest and forest management. To protect the interest of tribals, the Draft Policy of 2018 proposes to launch Community Forest Management Mission for management of community forest resources through a participatory forest management approach. Moreover, specific provisions have been made in the draft policy to ensure that the interests of local communities are protected and also provisions are made to consider them as partner in management of forests.
In addition, forest rights of tribals and others traditional forest dwellers are safeguarded under a separate Act, namely, “The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Right) Act, 2006” (Forest Rights Act, 2006) which recognizes and vests the forest rights of the Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be vested”.
This information was given by Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.