Promise and performance : 10 years of the Forest Rights Act in India

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA 2006) was enacted ten years ago in December 2006. This Act recognises the historical injustice that Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) have been subjected to and seeks to secure their rights over the traditionally accessed and managed forest land and community forest resources. It also aims to move forest governance in the country to a democratic and community-based model. It recognises fourteen pre-existing rights of forest dwellers on all categories of forest lands, including protected areas. These rights are Individual Forest Rights (IFRs) and Community Forest Rights (CRs) to use and access forest lands and resources, Community Forest Resource (CFR) Rights to use, manage and govern forests within traditional village boundaries. This report focuses on the CFR provision, recognising this as one of the most significant and powerful rights in the FRA.