A Journey of Forest Dwellers from Denial to Exercising of Rights Over Natural Resources
Keywords:Forest Dwellers, Community Forest Right, Protection, Natural Resources, Gram Sabha, Ownership, Tribals, Jamguda
Forest Rights Act 2006 is a historic decision to undo the injustice done to indigenous communities and forest dwellers by providing them ownership and management rights. It also provided scope for communities to secure livelihood sustainably. However, it is challenging to exercise rights over forests due to the lack of government apathy and clarity over pre-existing laws. Implementing the provisions on the ground is always full of struggle and requires much effort. Hammering from different angles on an issue or engaging different vital players with the issues always bring the result, whether it is sooner or later. The consistent efforts by villagers of Jamguda in Odisha to achieve ownership over forest resources to have full access and management are praiseworthy. This article will explore the process and learnings so that it can set an example for policymakers.
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