Clearing Houses

New forest conservation rules spark fight – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

NEW DELHI: Debate over new forest conservation rules introduced by the central government is heating up ahead of the monsoon session of parliament. Fireworks are expected in both chambers as the government brings it up for approval, with Congress readying its arsenal to mount an attack on the Modi government for trying to ‘disenfranchise’ tribals even as it seeks to bolster his pro-ST credentials by nominating Draupadi Murmu, who belongs to the Santhal tribe, as his presidential candidate.

The government, of course, denies the charge. Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda claimed that the Congress allegations were “a futile attempt to distract from the fact that the NDA presidential candidate is a tribal woman”. Here’s a look at the rules that sparked a verbal spat between the two sides:

New rules to “streamline” the green permit process

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEFCC) notified the Forest Conservation Rules, 2022 on June 28, which will replace earlier rules notified in 2003

The new rules will be submitted for approval by both Houses of Parliament during the next monsoon session

What is the change?

  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006, popularly known as the Forest Rights Act 2006, confers both individual and communal land rights and subsistence rights to families tribes, dalits and others living in forest areas. By law, compliance with the FRA is mandatory before permission is granted for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes
  • The Forest (Conservation) Rules 2022 decouples mandatory compliance with the FRA to request the clearance of forests for infrastructure projects and requires States/UTs to ensure they are complied with before forest land is handed over to the project promoter.

How will the new rules affect tribal rights?
The new rules allow the Union government to authorize the clearing of a forest for a project before the prior consent of forest dwellers, as required by the 2006 law.

charge of the opposition

  • The new rules will dilute the Forest Rights Act, 2006
  • Will disempower Forest Tribes and may displace them
  • Once deforestation is granted, requests for resettlement from residents will be ignored
  • States will come under greater pressure from the Center to speed up the process of land diversion

The center’s claim

  • The new rules do not dilute or infringe the provisions of the Forest Rights Act 2006
  • They were enacted to streamline the approval process
  • Enable parallel processing of proposals and eliminate redundant processes
  • States/UTs can ensure FRA compliance “at any time”

NEW DELHI: Debate over new forest conservation rules introduced by the central government is heating up ahead of the monsoon session of parliament. Fireworks are expected in both chambers as the government brings it up for approval, with Congress readying its arsenal to mount an attack on the Modi government for trying to ‘disenfranchise’ tribals even as it seeks to bolster his pro-ST credentials by nominating Draupadi Murmu, who belongs to the Santhal tribe, as his presidential candidate. The government, of course, denies the charge. Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda claimed that the Congress allegations were “a futile attempt to distract from the fact that the NDA presidential candidate is a tribal woman”. Here’s a rundown of the rules that sparked a verbal spat between the two sides: New rules to ‘streamline’ the green licensing process will replace previous rules notified in 2003 New rules will be subject to approval by both Houses of Parliament during the next monsoon session What is the change? The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006, popularly known as the Forest Rights Act 2006, confers both individual and communal land rights and subsistence rights to families tribes, dalits and others living in forest areas. By law, compliance with the FRA is mandatory before permission is granted for the diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes. ensure it is complied with before forest land is handed over to the project developer How will the new rules affect tribal rights? The new rules allow the Union government to authorize the clearing of a forest for a project before the prior consent of forest dwellers, as provided for in the 2006 law. The burden of opposition The new rules will dilute Forest Rights Act 2006. Once deforestation is granted, requests for resettlement from residents will be ignored. States will come under greater pressure from the Center to expedite the process of land diversion. enacted to streamline the approval process Will allow parallel processing of proposals and eliminate redundant processes States/UTs can ensure FRA compliance “at all times”