Recognition & mapping of community forest resources rights
Forest Rights Act 2006 recognizes and vests forest rights to the scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in forests in generations but whose rights could not be recorded. The law provides for a framework for recording of the forest rights so vested and the nature of evidence required for such recognition and vesting in respect of forest land. From among the provisions under Forest Right Act, the rights to Community Forest Resources establish the authority of the Gram Sabhas to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resources which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use, thereby providing a scope of democratizing forest governance and natural resource management. This booklet provides a learning of the process of recognition and vesting of rights over community forest resources with reference to the legal provisions of Forest Rights Act and the Rules. The experiences gained in facilitating the process inside the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj and Jamujhari Panchayat in Kandhamal have been reflected in this booklet.