A Workshop on “Forest Rights Act, 2006 - its Implementation, benefits to tribal and other traditional forest dwelling communities and its challenges” was held in New Delhi today as part of National Tribal Carnival – 2016. The Workshop was Chaired by Shri Jual Oram, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and co-chaired by Shri Jaswantsinh Sumanbhai Bhabhor, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs in the presence of Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ms. Marina Walter, UNDP Deputy Country Director. The panelists for the Workshop were Dr SM Jharwal, Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Tribal University, Amarkantak, Shri Noyal Thomas, DIG (Forests), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Dr. Farhad Mollick, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Anthropology at Mahatma Gandhi Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Maharashtra and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The Workshop was attended by approximately 250 delegates including Ministers from the States Members of Parliament, Members of State Legislatures and other dignitaries.
A contextual presentation was made by Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, JS, Ministry of Tribal Affairs delineating the critical aspects and key features of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 also known as Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. A presentation was also made by Shri Noyal Thomas, DIG (Forests) focused on Community Forest Resource guidelines for protection and management of Forest by the Gram Sabha as also other essential attributes vis-à-vis Forest Protection Laws. Dr. Jharwal and Dr. Mollick also spoke in detail on the challenges in implementation of Forest Rights Act while bringing out the protective rights granted under FRA.Minister of State for Tribal Affairs spoke on the landmark legislation which protects and recognizes the forest rights of tribal and other traditional forest dwelling communities. He emphasized that the processes in this regard are being constantly monitored and reviewed at level from time to time. He also appreciated the extensive presentations by the panelists.Shri Oram, while summing, up thanked various stakeholders and complimented the contributions by the panelists. The backdrop of legislation and how the Act has empowered the forest dwelling communities including the tribal communities was emphasized.The contents of various issues were widely appreciated by audience and there were a number of interventions which were responded to by the panel. A Tribal Diary titled “Tribal Faces in India” was also released on the occasion.