Sharachchandra Lele

NGOs involvement in implementation of the FRA provides an extremely valuable support system, study says.

The Forest Rights Act or FRA was enacted in 2006, following collective pressure from a massive social movement to correct the historical injustices imposed since the colonial takeover of India's forests. Community Forest Resource (CFR) Rights recognized under FRA transfers collective rights and responsibilities to forest dwelling communities for sustainable use of their customary forests.

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While forest bureaucracy has been trying to undermine reforms in forest governance in India, the need for community level forest governance is more urgent than ever.

India’s forest sector, at crossroads

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Multilayered governance and involvement of forest dwellers in the decision making processes can go a long way in managing our forests better.

The recent news on the forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from 16 states by a Supreme Court order has again brought the long-debated issue of the role of the state and the community in forest governance to the forefront.

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This working paper describes a study that examines the link between stream flow, agricultural water use and economic returns to agriculture in the Western Ghats of peninsular India.

The paper informs that the conventional wisdom that ‘more forest is always better’ has dominated policy making in the management of forested watersheds. In the context of the supposed hydrological regulation service provided by forest ecosystems, however, hydrologists have debated this assumption for more than two decades.

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The objective of this note is to share the salient aspects of the discussion more widely with a view to furthering debate on environmental governance in the country.

This report on a round table held in November 2009 by a cross section of activists, policy analysts and academics deals with a move by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to restructure the environmental governance structure of the country through the proposed National Environmental Protection Agency.

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Watershed development is increasingly seen as the lynchpin of rural development in dryland areas – one that integates sectors and provides the foundation for subsequent development.

This report by FoRWARD deals with the reorientation of the watershed development programme in India. The government is apparently committing larger resources for watershed development and plans to bring most of the dryland, degraded lands under the coverage of the programme over the next 25 years or so.

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