Centre for World Solidarity (CWS)

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Women

Project Period

01 Apr 2015 - 31 Mar 2016

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Introduction

Odisha is one of the tribal dominated states of India. The state is endowed with lots of natural resources and in recent times the state is making an effort to utilize these resources through establishment of industrial units. This makes the tribal people in distress situation.  In a state where there are abundant natural resources, people and nature living with a harmony and in the name of development the natural resources are destroyed, people are thrown out of their original habitations in Odisha. Adivasis were considered as encroachers in to the forests by the forest department before the introduction of Forest Rights Act 2006. With the strong voice of civil society, Government of India had brought out a new legislation called Forest Rights Act 2006 and started implementing from 2008 onwards. Oxfam India has been involved in advocating for the rights of Individual and Community Forest Rights in Odisha. Oxfam India work with the local Non Governmental Organisations to promote the rights of tribals.

About the Project: 

The current project aims at realising the rights of Forest dependent communities of Odisha state, realise their forest rights and entitlements through a concerted effort of building, strengthening the local organisations. The project envisages a systematic effort of aggregating the Tribal households in to their own groups as per the constitutional right provided to them through the Forest Rights Act 2006 & 2012. The communities will promote their own Forest Rights Committees at the habitation level, their understanding of the Forest Rights Act is enhanced on various provisions in the act. Local adivasi leadership is vital in all times for asking their rights and entitlements. The project focus on demonstrating a learning and demonstration platform where the local communities demand and achieve their individual and community forest rights titles using the Forest Rights Act 2006. Once the titles are received it is also important to see the forest governance and management plans are developed by the same communities, they are mainstreamed in to the District level forest department plans where the resources for developmental activities flows. In all the districts the slow pace of implementation of Forest Rights Act is due to the capacities of DLCs and SDLCs. The project deals with the various bottlenecks those are existing at the district and state level government authorities facing rather various forms of delays that are faced.

The project aims at working with poor people particularly with adivasis to have access over their Land Rights for their improved livelihood. Through this project, efforts shall be made to capacitate Forest Dependent Communities & their Institutions to demand & have access to their Individual & Community Rights. This project shall focus on the following 5 key thematic areas:

  1. Empowering communities & the institutions in accessing Community Forest Rights under FRA through capacity building programs like regular meeting, trainings, interface, exposure, etc. This is a continuous process to capacitate the FRC & local communities which needs time.  
  2. Building Capacities & sensitizing various stakeholders like SDLC, DLC, Govt. Forest Officials, CBOs, CSOs, NGOs etc. on the challenges, gaps & concerns identified on CFR Rights under FRA. As the Forest Right Act revised twice, it needs more interface and training with the concerned officials to regularize the process of claiming CFR at field level.  
  3. Enhancing the skills of the Forest Dependent Communities in developing & integrating Forest Management Plan into the Govt. Working Plan of the Forest Department. Developing of forest governance & management plan has begun last year. This year, it needs to be replicated in other villages and GPs. A plan document will be produced at the end of the year.   
  4. Strengthening State Level Alliances for Advocacy on FRA & strengthen OJM as State level Federation to work on CFR Rights. 
  5. Translating CFR claims into sustainable Livelihood approach in at least 4 GPs of two districts, this will be replicate in other GPs.

The proposed project shall be implemented in 20 GPs of 4 Blocks in 2 districts of Odisha namely Mayurbhanj & Baleswar. CWS will implement the project by working with a state level forum of community forest management group named ‘Orissa Jungle Mancha (OJM).

Results to be Achieved: 

Community members access the facilities of Community Facilitation Centre at Balesore, 2. Forest resource management plan should be integrated with forest department plans 3. Issuance of CFR titles, 4. Enhanced awareness on establishment of Primary Procurement Agency (PPA) on NTFP at GP level

Prior Achievements:

  • Prepared CFR protection & Management plan document in 2 villages. (Gopalpur & Duvia)
  • Revived FRA alliancence/ Network(FRA Alliance)
  • A platform was set for IFR & CFR claims in both the districts