Community Forest Right (FRA 2006)

Dr. Maya Mohan,Dr. Amitha Bachan K.H.,Anitha K.T.,Senthilkumar V.M.,Mylamani

The FRA (The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act) 2006 its rules 2008  as amended in 2012 are the best legal instrument for the recognition of traditional land, community and habitat rights of indigenous communities in India as well as right based conservation of forest, biodiversity and forest resources. The Community Forest Resource (CFR) under each Forest Right Grama Sabhas provides sustainable access to resources as well as protection from alienation for non forest purpose. The habitat right of PVTGS, Critical Wildlife Habitats, rights of the GSs and its statutory committees such as Such FRCs and CFRMCs are important tools of ensuring inclusive conservation and sustainable resource management goals as envisaged in international bodies such as UN, UNDRIP 2007, CBD, IUCN etc. 

The preamble of the FRA 2006 denotes "the forest rights on ancestral lands and their habitat were not adequately recognized in the consolidation of state forests during the colonial period as well as in independent India resulting in historical injustice to the forest dwelling STs and other traditional forest dwellers who are integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem"