The Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs jointly decided to ensure the implementation of the "The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditionally Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006". 2006 and complete the process of recognition of the rights of the tribal communities. The Act was notified into force on 31 December, 2007. But the actual implementation of the said act did not happen.
Arjun Munda, Minister of Tribal Affairs and Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Forests, Environment and Climate along with the secretaries of their respective ministries today issued a joint circular with regard to the substantive implementations of these provisions. "The (Narendra) Modi government is committed to the development and empowerment of the tribal communities. Today's step is historic for the overall development of tribals and the implementation of the Forest Rights Act in its true letter and spirit," Javadekar said.
Akhil Bhartiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (ABVKA) had been making persistent efforts in this direction since the Modi government assumed power in 2014. “Today's joint declaration on the part of Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change is the culmination of ABVKA's long-drawn process of lobbying and follow-ups”, said ABVKA in a press release.
“The forest department of the concerned states must play the role of facilitator without hindering the local community activities. This alone will give agency to the Gramsabhas to improve their livelihood by utilizing their forest resources sustainably. There is an urgent need to come out of the colonial mindset that looked at the tribal and other traditional forest dwelling communities as the encroachers on the forests. Moreover, they have protected and preserved these forests for centuries”, ABVKA said.
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