New Delhi: Aiming at better management of
forests, the government on Thursday set up a committee to study the
implementation of Forest Rights Act and define a new role for
Forest Department and gram panchayats for conservation and
regeneration of the resource.
Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Ministry
of Tribal Affairs have jointly set up a 10-member committee
under Devendra Pandey, former director general, Forest Survey
of India, according to a notification.
The committee will study the impact of the Forest Rights
Act on forest management and suggest necessary policy changes
for better management of forestry sector.
The panel, which will also identify the role of stake
holders and beneficiaries in forest management, will submit
its report in three months.
Parliament in 2006 passed the Scheduled Tribes and Other
Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights)
Act, which is known as Forest Rights Act. The law relates to
the rights of forest-dwelling communities to land and other
resources, denied to them for decades.
The MoEF constituted the committee after two rounds of
meeting with Ministry of Tribal Affairs on the issue of
implication of the Act on sustainable forest management.
The committee will recommend measures on sustainable
forest management and protection of rights of forest dwellers.