Forum > Tribal Bill-How it will affect our forests > Copy of message sent by retd IFS officers

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 13, 2007

COPY of the message sent 11.7.07
Dear all fellow foresters,
We the retired Forest Officers have discussed overall impact of  the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (2 of 2007) and draft Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007.The Ministry of TribalAffairs Notification New Delhi, 19th June, 2007 has invited Objections or suggestions from all persons likely to be affected by the 6th of August 2007.Any objection or suggestion which may be received from any person in respect of the said draft rules within the period so specified shall be considered by the Central Government. Objections or suggestions, if any, may be addressed to the Joint Secretary tothe Government of India, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, 7th Floor, A–Wing, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi – 110001.
We foresters are concerned when we find that these rules are meant to hand back rights to tribals over land and forest produce that they have traditionally inhabited and used for sustenance and continue to do so even today.But a campaign, more covert than up front, by some wildlife groups, has instead turned the bill into a battle of people versus wildlife. The campaign has found friends in a set of parliament members who with their powerful reach in Delhi’s corridors have perhaps got away with scuttling the bill. The Union ministry of environment and forests has enjoined the battle. The Act is here to stay, but the finer details could be modified based on suggestions.Comments, objections and suggestions on the draft Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2007, are being invited by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, New Delhi to reach by the 6th of August 2007. Comments can be sent by email too.
A copy of the Act as well as the draft rules can be viewed in the website http://www.tribal. <http://www.tribal.
Those of you who are familiar with the legal details please log on and post your comments
Shri SA Shah IFS (Retd.) and many forest officials like myself would like to request you to kindly consider the following points for research study. In case this information is available kindly share the findings with the undersigned. This will substantiate the myth that the Impact of Regularization of Unauthorized Cultivation would be postive on the economy of the affected tribals.
Salient points of study are given below.
  1. Present status of allotted forestlands: Have they improved in productivity or have they deteriorated? What was the quality of farming practices followed by the concerned forest dwellers?
  2. What has been the input to improve such lands? Has the soil improved? Was the soil analyzed? If so, what are the results of the analysis?
  3. What has been the annual income from such lands? Have they provided sustainable livelihood to the concerned tribals?
  4. Did the allotment of such lands cause any social tension?
  5. What has been the ecological and environmental impact of such small and scattered pieces of land under cultivation? These should include:- 1. Biodiversity 2. Fire 3. Grazing 4. Illicit cutting of trees 5. Erosion in the adjoining areas and 6. Margin effect.
  6. Did the allotment create social tensions in the community?
  7. Did the allotment of forestland prevent them from annual migration to the urbam areas close by?
  8. Did the allotment of forest land make the beneficiaries to send their children to school .regularly?

A line in reply will be highly appreciated.


S.K.Verma IFS (Retd.)
Former PCCF Rajasthan 
President- Green Arc Society, Udaipur &
Regional Convenor Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)Udaipur
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