Securing community forest rights
Upscaling community forest resource rights (CFR) recognition and governance in India
Securing community forest rights
Upscaling community forest resource rights (CFR) recognition and governance in India

The Indian School of Business (ISB), the research and policy advocacy group Vasundhara, and the Society for Rural, Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI) are supporting India’s indigenous and other forest-dwelling communities to secure their forest rights after centuries of struggle. India’s Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 gives Scheduled Tribes, known as Adivasis, and other traditional forest dwellers, the right to govern, manage, and use community forests. However, few have secured their rights due to resistance and low capacity in government institutions and to a lack of awareness in Adivasi and forest dweller communities. This Tenure Facility initiative capitalizes on current political will, grassroots mobilization, and civil society strength in the states of Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh to implement the Act. It aims to build the awareness, capacity, and momentum required to upscale implementation of the FRA across the country. Full implementation could secure community tenure and jurisdiction over 32 million hectares of forest claimed by 150 million tribal and forest-dwelling people living in 170,000 villages.

For the full story of the fight to secure community land and forest rights in India go to the Timeline.

For details on Tenure Facility initiatives in India, visit India.

Photos: Sushant Dalei

Securing the rights of 5,000 villages over 1 million hectares of community forestland

Goal

Upscale assertion and recognition of collective forest rights provided in the Forest Rights Act

Objectives

  • Empower village assemblies to secure their rights to customary forests under the Forest Rights Act
  • Build capacity to replicate and upscale recognition of community land and forest rights throughout India
  • Establish robust systems for socio-ecological monitoring of community lands and forests
  • Build private sector support for implementing the Forest Rights Act

Actions

  • Build awareness of community rights and mobilize action at the community level, especially among women
  • Train and build capacity of community leaders and volunteers, civil society organizations, and public officials at all levels to prepare and submit legal claims
  • Share experiences, lessons, and best practices across districts and nationally through exposure programs, learning platforms, a national conference, and media engagement
  • Collect, analyze, and share forest ecological and socio-economic data and information
  • Create an open and transparent online data portal for sharing information about FRA implementation, impacts, and insights for improving forest governance
  • Engage with and seek support of the private sector

Expected results

  • Claims submitted by 5,000 communities for 1 million hectares of forest, benefiting at least 1 million people
  • Enhanced access to data, information, analysis, and insights about community forest rights and ecological and socio-economic impacts
  • Enhanced understanding of how implementing community forest rights contributes to social justice, poverty alleviation, economic development, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration
  • Strengthened private sector understanding of the benefits of community forest rights and support for implementing the FRA
  • Increased political momentum for implementing community forest rights in neighbouring districts, other states, and the national government

Expected impact

  • Empowered village assemblies engage in democratic and effective governance of community forests
  • Forest communities improve their livelihoods and contribute to conserving biodiversity and mitigating deforestation and climate change
  • Access to accurate, real-time information and insights enables civil society, local authorities, village assemblies, district administrators, researchers, and policy-makers to participate in unprecedented, democratic, bottom-up planning and to strengthen forest governance
  • Implementation of the FRA is upscaled throughout India

 

Ongoing


From 01 January 2018
To 31 December 2020

Budget
US$1,994,139

Proponent

Indian School of Business (ISB)

Associates

Vasundhara

Society for Rural, Urban, and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI)

Beneficiaries

Indigenous and other forest-dwelling communities

Village assemblies

District and local government officials responsible for FRA implementation

Provincial and national government decision-makers

Private sector entities and associations whose activities intersect with forests and rural livelihoods

The Indian School of Business (ISB), the research and policy advocacy group Vasundhara, and the Society for Rural, Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI) are supporting India’s indigenous and other forest-dwelling communities to secure their forest rights after centuries of struggle. India’s Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 gives Scheduled Tribes, known as Adivasis, and other traditional forest dwellers, the right to govern, manage, and use community forests. However, few have secured their rights due to resistance and low capacity in government institutions and to a lack of awareness in Adivasi and forest dweller communities. This Tenure Facility initiative capitalizes on current political will, grassroots mobilization, and civil society strength in the states of Odisha, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh to implement the Act. It aims to build the awareness, capacity, and momentum required to upscale implementation of the FRA across the country. Full implementation could secure community tenure and jurisdiction over 32 million hectares of forest claimed by 150 million tribal and forest-dwelling people living in 170,000 villages.

For the full story of the fight to secure community land and forest rights in India go to the Timeline.

For details on Tenure Facility initiatives in India, visit India.

Photos: Sushant Dalei

Securing the rights of 5,000 villages over 1 million hectares of community forestland

Goal

Upscale assertion and recognition of collective forest rights provided in the Forest Rights Act

Objectives

  • Empower village assemblies to secure their rights to customary forests under the Forest Rights Act
  • Build capacity to replicate and upscale recognition of community land and forest rights throughout India
  • Establish robust systems for socio-ecological monitoring of community lands and forests
  • Build private sector support for implementing the Forest Rights Act

Actions

  • Build awareness of community rights and mobilize action at the community level, especially among women
  • Train and build capacity of community leaders and volunteers, civil society organizations, and public officials at all levels to prepare and submit legal claims
  • Share experiences, lessons, and best practices across districts and nationally through exposure programs, learning platforms, a national conference, and media engagement
  • Collect, analyze, and share forest ecological and socio-economic data and information
  • Create an open and transparent online data portal for sharing information about FRA implementation, impacts, and insights for improving forest governance
  • Engage with and seek support of the private sector

Expected results

  • Claims submitted by 5,000 communities for 1 million hectares of forest, benefiting at least 1 million people
  • Enhanced access to data, information, analysis, and insights about community forest rights and ecological and socio-economic impacts
  • Enhanced understanding of how implementing community forest rights contributes to social justice, poverty alleviation, economic development, biodiversity conservation, and carbon sequestration
  • Strengthened private sector understanding of the benefits of community forest rights and support for implementing the FRA
  • Increased political momentum for implementing community forest rights in neighbouring districts, other states, and the national government

Expected impact

  • Empowered village assemblies engage in democratic and effective governance of community forests
  • Forest communities improve their livelihoods and contribute to conserving biodiversity and mitigating deforestation and climate change
  • Access to accurate, real-time information and insights enables civil society, local authorities, village assemblies, district administrators, researchers, and policy-makers to participate in unprecedented, democratic, bottom-up planning and to strengthen forest governance
  • Implementation of the FRA is upscaled throughout India

 

Ongoing


From 01 January 2018
To 31 December 2020

Budget
US$1,994,139

Proponent

Indian School of Business (ISB)

Associates

Vasundhara

Society for Rural, Urban, and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI)

Beneficiaries

Indigenous and other forest-dwelling communities

Village assemblies

District and local government officials responsible for FRA implementation

Provincial and national government decision-makers

Private sector entities and associations whose activities intersect with forests and rural livelihoods