Vasundhara and Kalpavriksha

Project Theme

Natural Resource Management

Target Group

Others

Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

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Introduction

The objective of CFR-LA process is to facilitate learning and experiences among stakeholders on FRA and reinforce national level efforts for evidence-based advocacy on Community Forest Rights under the Forest Rights Act. 

 

About the Project: 

The project has been envisaged with a view to create a national level platform for learning and advocacy on Community Forest Rights under the FRA. Thus, as part of learning and advocacy, the project will collect information, evidence, case studies on CFR from the states through CFR LA members and detailed documentation and CFR updates shall be done in selected states on the basis of information received in consultations and meetings on initiatives taken by local groups to claim CFR. 

 

Outcome:

Facilitate a CFR learning and advocacy process at the national level which would support government and non-government initiatives and would lead to increased capacity and actions on community claims, recognition and governance and management of claimed CFRs.

 

Results to be Achieved: 

Strengthening CFR LA process:

  • Learning meeting will be organized with international networks working on collective tenurial rights in other countries and local organisations working on FRA in various states 
  • State level consultations (mainly focusing central Indian states) to strengthen coordination and response of the state level groups and organizations. 
  • Learning program for CSO partners will be organized to inform partners about policy updates, guidelines, to train them on new methodology and tools developed/used in the CFR process (e.g. mobile based application for mapping of CFRs).
  • National convention on CFRs with the involvement of civil society organizations who are part of the CFR LA process as well as from other networks. The convention will facilitate sharing of learning and initiatives on CFRs from the states, highlight the status of implementation as against the actual potential of the CFR rights, and engage with the nodal ministry and policy makers on the implementation issues.  

 

Evidence based research and documentation:

  • Citizens’ report on CFRs will be done as a joint study supported by Oxfam India and the Rights & Resources Initiatives. This year the study will have detailed information and analysis on the potential of CFRs vs actual status of implementation and will include state wise analysis and briefs on the key issues of implementation. The study will also highlight the initiatives and best practices on the CFR process which will be used to hold the government accountable during the national consultation
  • Bi monthly newsletters will be brought out to update on CFR developments, initiatives and issues. 
  • A learning document will be compiled from existing practices of CFR governance and management in various states. 

 

Prior Achievements:

CFR LA initiatives in 2015-16: The CFR LA process has engaged with the scope created by actions taken by the government while at the same time facilitating collective intervention from CSOs to address issues and developments having impact on CFR rights. 

CFR Consultations: State level consultations have been organized in Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh as implementation of CFR provisions in the states is still slow. A national consultation was organized in Delhi on the 11th and 12th of December 2015 which was attended by organizations from the states of Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Gujrat, Goa, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Madhya Pradesh. These consultations provided an opportunity for sharing of learning and knowledge on CFR rights and facilitated dialogue with people’s representatives, government officials and policy makers on issues of implementation.  

Exposure visit for CSOs: A team of CSOs from Jharkhand supported by Oxfam visited Kandhamal district of Odisha in November 2015 to learn about the process of mapping and recognition of CFR, convergence programs for livelihoods and food security, community based forest management plan. During the visit they interacted with the government agencies and learnt about the strategies of facilitation.

 

Evidence generation and Information dissemination:

CFR governance study in Odisha and Maharashtra: The Odisha study has documented the learning from the CFR management process in villages inside Simlipal tiger reserve which have got their CFR rights recognized through a participatory process of mapping of the community forest areas. The study in Maharashtra has documented CFR management process and learning from select villages which have received CFR titles as also the ones which have filed their claims but are yet to receive titles.

Community Forest Rights at a glance: Newsletters have been published bimonthly highlighting all the news and policy developments around CFRs. The newsletters have been widely referred by CSOs and government organizations. 

Citizen’s report: The Citizens’ report has been compiled including a) newsletters and updates on CFR, b) outcome of the state and national consultations, c) collective interventions as part of the CFR LA group including petitions, letters, critique on key CFR related developments and issues shared with the government. 

FRA website: The CFR link in the FRA website has hosted all relevant information, reports, guidelines, case studies on CFR initiatives and developments. The link has been used to share learning and initiatives on CFR process facilitation and is widely referred by the CSOs and government agencies. 

CFR LA intervention on key issues:  The CFR-LA has also engaged with key issues of implementation by sending letters and petitions to the government. The key interventions include,

  • Petition to the MoTA on violation of forest rights PVTGs in the states of Odisha and Telangana through plantations being carried out on lands claimed/recognized under FRA. 
  • Petition to MoEFCC on the guidelines issued by the ministry to open up 40 percent of forests to private sector for afforestation in violation of FRA. 
  • Petition to MoTA and the state government of Maharashtra on notification of village forest rules in violation of FRA and PESA. 
  • Petition against withdrawal of CFR rights in Surguja District in Chhattisgarh.