Forest Conservation

Forest Conservation

  1. I.                    Acts
  2. i.            The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

The Act seeks to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded. The Act was notified for operation with effect from 31.12.2007. The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Rules, 2008 for implementing the provisions of the Act were notified on 1.1.2008. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is to ensure that the intended benefits of this welfare legislation flow to the eligible forest dwellers, has also issued comprehensive guidelines to the State/UT Governments on 12.7.2012 for better implementation of the Act.

  1. ii.         Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, amended 1988

In order to check rapid deforestation due to forestlands being released by state governments for agriculture, industry and other development projects (allowed under the Indian Forest Act) the central government enacted the Forest Conservation Act in 1980 with an amendment in 1988. The Act made the prior approval of the federal government necessary for de-reservation of reserved forests, logging and for use of forestland for non- forest purposes. This powerful legislation has, to a large extent, curtailed the indiscriminate logging and release of forestland for non-forestry purposes by state governments.

  1. iii.         The Indian Forest Act, 1927

The main objective of the Indian Forest Act (1927) was to secure exclusive state control over forests to meet the demand for timber. Most of these untitled lands had traditionally belonged to the forest dwelling communities. The Act defined state ownership, regulated its use, and appropriated the power to substitute or extinguish customary rights. The Act facilitates three categories of forests, namely reserved forests, Village forests and protected forests. Reserved forests are the most protected within these categories. No rights can be acquired in reserved forests except by succession or under a grant or contract with the government. Felling trees, grazing cattle, removing forest products, quarrying, fishing, and hunting are punishable with a fine or imprisonment. Although the Indian Forest Act is a federal act, many states have enacted similar forest acts but with some modifications.

  1. II.                  Rules
  • 1. Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2003.
  • 2. Forest (Conservation) Rules, 1981, amended 1992.
  1. III.                Guidelines
  2. 1.       Guidelines dated 05.11.2013: Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980—Simplified procedure for grant of approval in certain cases of renewal of mining leases.
  3. 2.       Guidelines dated 17.05.2013: General approval under section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for creation of critical public utility infrastructure by Government Departments involving not more than 5.00 hectares of forest land in each case in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts-reg.
  4. 3.       Guidelines dated 03.05.2013: (57.91 KB)Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – Modification in para 2.8 thereof.(57.91 KB)
  5. 4.       Guidelines dated 05.02.2013: Diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – ensuring compliance of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Trad itional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006.
  6. 5.       Guidelines dtd. 01.02.13: Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980- Submission of proposals to obtain approval for diversion of entire forest land located within the mining lease and grant of environment clearance to mining projects.
  7. 6.       Guidelines dtd. 01.02.13: General approval under section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for creation of critical public utility infrastructure by Government Departments involving not more than 5.00 hectares of forest land in each case in 60 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts-reg.
  8. 7.       Guidelines dtd. 09.11.12: Guidelines issued under the forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – Realization of amount required for implementation of CAT Plan in more than one installment for small hydel project having installed capacity less than 25 MW.
  9. 8.       Guidelines dtd. 12.07.12: Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
  10. 9.       Guidelines dtd. 13.02.12: Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – Non-availabality of forest land for creation of compensatory afforestation.
  11. 10.   Guidelines dtd. 08.07.11: Submission of Geo-referenced digital data for applications under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
  12. 11.   Guidelines dtd. 03.11.10: General Approval under section-2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 to LWE affected districts for diversion of forest land for certain activities to be carried out by the Government Department involving not more than 2.00 ha offorest land-reg.
  13. 12.   Guidelines dtd. 19.08.10: Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – clarification regarding forest areas outside National ‘Park / sanctuary but within 10 km radius from the boundary – reg.
  14. 13.   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – General approval Under Section 2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, thereof.
  15. 14.   General approval under Section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for creation of critical public utility infrastructure by Government Departments involving not more than 5.00 hectares of forest land in each case in 60 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts-reg.
  16. 15.   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 -Modification in para 4.4 and 2.2 (iii) thereof.
  17. 16.   Guidelines for re-diversion of forest land under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
  18. 17.   General approval under Section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for creation of critical public utility infrastructure by Government Departments involving not more than 5.00 ha of forest land in each case in 60 Left Wing Extremism affected districts – reg.
  19. 18.   General approval under Section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for creation of critical public utility infrastructure by Government Departments involving not more than 5.00 ha of forest land in each case in 60 Left Wing Extremism affected districts – reg.
  20. 19.   Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – for stipulating the norms for Survey and Investigation (Prospecting of ores) on forest land.
  21. 20.   Guidelines dated 11.09.2009 – Guidelines for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – General Approval under Section 2 of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, thereof..
  22. 21.   Diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – ensuring compliance of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006.
  23. 22.   Guidelines for diversion of forestland for non-forestry purposes under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 – for stipluating the norms for Survey and Investigation (Prospecting of ores) on forestland.

 

The full texts can be found at http://moef.nic.in/division/forest-conservation