Community Managed Forests: law. Problem and alternatives. (A Case Study of Meghalaya)

By Ritwick Dutta The North-Eastern region of the country, which comprises the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh has about 7% of India’s dense forest cover. (Forest Survey of India, 1995). However, more than 60% of India’s wood products (plywood, sawnlogs, planks, matchsticks etc.) used to come from this region prior to 19971. This huge supply of wood products in itself is a terrible burden for a region that accounts for only 7.7% of India’s total land area. The present study aims to critically examine the functioning of the Autonomous District Councils in Meghalaya. specifically the way the forests have and are being managed by them, the legal rules applicable to the forests under State control.