Webinar on: The Forest Department and the Implementation of the Forest Rights Act
1700-1830 IST, May 6, 2020
A key resource for several national priorities, the pressure on India’s forests is set to increase further as India’s population continues to increase and urbanise and as the effects of industrial pollution and the climate crisis become apparent.
The use of the country’s forests and forest resources for industrial growth, development projects, and wildlife conservation has historically come at the expense of the rights and use of forest resources by its forest-dwelling and forest-dependant communities.
The Forest Department is the regulatory and administrative body mandated with the governance of our forests and draws its power from the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
In 2008 however, a law was passed that radically challenged the existing forest legal framework. The Forest Rights Act (FRA) recognised the rights of forest-dwelling communities who also found in it, a legal foothold to influence the governance of forests. But the statutory and discretionary power of the forest department remained intact despite the decentralised governance structure proposed in the FRA.
The discretionary power of administrative authorities is seen as an important element for effective governance and harnessing creativity in administration.
In this webinar I will layout the mechanics of the exercise of discretionary power by the forest department that restricts the operation of the FRA.
It will be useful to those who are interested in land, environment, wildlife, and poverty in India and to those who want to understand how discretionary power shapes decision making in forest governance and the challenges that rights-based legislations have when their implementation is caught in a bureaucratic maze.
About the Facilitator
Arpitha Kodiveri is a Hans Kelsen Fellow and Doctoral Researcher in Law at the European University Institute. Her research focuses on the implementation of the gram sabha consent provision in the forest clearance process in the mining areas of Odisha.
She has previously worked as an environmental lawyer supporting forest-dwelling communities in their struggles to assert their forest rights. She has an LL.M from UC Berkeley as a Fulbright Nehru Fellow and a B.S.L LL.B from ILS Law College, Pune.
About the Organiser
Nagrik Open Civic Learning makes Open Educational Resources for civic participation.
You can now learn for free about community rights and forest governance in India, from videos and other materials developed by Oxfam India in collaboration with the Centre for Policy Research, at www.nagriklearning.com.
Details of the webinar:
Date: May 6 (Wednesday)
Time: 5 PM-6.30 PM
Fee: The webinar is open and free to attend.
Note: Participants will be on mute and can ask questions over chat or the Q and A box.
Platform: Zoom. We are taking all precautions suggested by the public authorities.
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