To protect the interests of tribals, the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 proposes to launch community forest management mission (CFMM) to manage forest resources though a participatory forest management approach, the government said today.
"The basic thrust of the draft National Forest Policy of 2018 is for conservation, protection and management of forests along with addressing other issues associated with forest and forest management.
"To protect the interest of tribals, the Draft Policy of 2018 proposes to launch Community Forest Management Mission for management of community forest resources though a participatory forest management approach," he said.
He noted that specific provisions have been made in the draft policy to ensure that the interests of local communities are protected and also provisions are made to consider them as partner in management of forests.
Forest rights of tribals and other traditional forest-dwellers are safeguarded under a separate Act, namely, The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Right) Act, 2006, which recognises and vests the forest rights of the Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest-dwellers who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights could not be vested, he said.
Replying to another question, he said the draft policy has highlighted that plantation of trees outside forests and promotion of urban greens will be taken up on a mission mode for attaining the national goal of bringing one third of the area under forests and trees cover and also for achieving the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs) targets of the country.
"Public-private participation models will be developed for undertaking afforestation and reforestation activities in degraded forest areas and forest areas available with forest development corporations and outside forests," he said.
He also said that adequate measures would be taken to safeguard ecosystems from forest fires, map the vulnerable areas and develop and strengthen early warning systems and methods to control fire, based on remote sensing technology and community participation.
"The draft policy further states that schemes and projects which interfere with forests that cover steep slopes, catchments of rivers, lakes and reservoirs geologically unstable terrain and such other ecologically sensitive areas shall be restricted.
"The ecologically sensitive catchment areas shall be stabilised with suitable soil and water conservation measures and also by planting with suitable trees and grasses like bamboo etc," he said.
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