The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has released the first draft of the comprehensive amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA). However, the amendments have been criticized as an attempt by the central government to grab natural resources owned by tribals for generations.
The Parliamentary panel on environment and forests has raised serious concerns regarding the Draft National Forest Policy for its excessive focus on commercialisation of forest and serving industry interests. Once finalized, this document will replace the current National Forest Policy, 1988.
The Supreme Court has recently directed the state governments to evict around 10 lakh forest dwelling communities whose claims have been rejected under the Forest Rights Act. This order may affect some of the country’s most vulnerable communities and their fundamental rights, therefore it needs a relook.