The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has confirmed the first draft of the comprehensive amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA) which provides definitions to important terms that were missing from the law.
- Under the draft,Each state has to conduct consultations with all its stakeholders, including non-profits and civil society organisations, and send the compiled feedback to the ministry by June 7.
- The amendment defines community as “a group of persons specified on the basis of government records living in a specific locality and in joint possession and enjoyment of common property resources, without regard to race, religion, caste, language and culture”.
- Forest is defined to include “any government or private or institutional land recorded or notified as forest/forest land in any government record and the lands managed by government/community as forest and mangroves, and also any land which the central or state government may by notification declare to be forest for the purpose of this Act.”
- While the preamble of IFA, 1927, said the Act was focused on laws related to transport of forest produce and the tax on it, the amendment has increased the focus to “conservation, enrichment and sustainable management of forest resources and matters connected therewith to safeguard ecological stability to ensure provision of ecosystem services in perpetuity and to address the concerns related to climate change and international commitments”.
Source:Down to Earth