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National Convention Held in Bhubaneshwar on Forest Rights

Around four hundred participants from Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Himachal Pradesh joined the CSD national convention in Bhubaneshwar on September 28th.  They were joined by leaders and activists of struggle groups in Odisha as well.  The following key demands were raised at the Convention:

Major  Demands From the Central Govt.

  1. Ensure the Authority and Power of the Gram Sabha recognised under Forest Rights Act, 2006 in the Rules to be framed under CAMPA Fund Act, 2016. Ensure that the gram sabha would be the decision maker in case of plantation or any activities to be carried using CAMPA fund within the Community Forest Resource Area.
  2. Halt the JFM Resolution, 1990 and respect the Gram Sabha as the “authority” for protecting the forest.
  3. Halt illegal diversion of forest land without gram sabha consent and prosecute the officials responsible.
  4. Respect the power of the gram sabha in all laws on land acquisition and forests. All planning, change of use and activities in forests should be subject to the powers of the gram sabha.

Major Demands From the Govt. of Odisha

  1. Respect the Gram Sabha as the authority of the village duly recognised under Forest Rights Act, 2006.
  2. Identify hundreds of forest and un-surveyed villages, form FRC recognising Gram Sabha there and convert them into Revenue Villages.
  3. Help gram sabhas to demarcate forest land recognised under individual Forest Rights Act in the State.
  4. Recognised the IFR rights of the OTFDs duly recommended and approved by Gram Sabhas.
  5. Produce village wise list of the IFR title to ascertain no of villages covered under Forest Rights Act, 2006 till date.
  6. Engage in a widespread awareness campaign on FRA specially on Community Forest rights across the State.
  7. Stop giving false information on the CFR rights recognised in State and validate them with ground realities.
  8. Stop evicting tribals and forest dwellers from their habitats and land under cultivation though Tiger Projects and plantation. Stop relocation of communities from Similipal Tiger Reserve.
  9. Dissolve all Vana Suraskhya Samiti(VSS)/EDC/Ama Jungle Yojana(AJY) violating Forest Rights Act.
  10. Recognise PTG rights over their habitat duly recognised under FRA.
  11. Recognise ownership rights over Minor Forest Produce and stop taking royalty on kendu leaf and bamboo.
  12. Make correction and consolidation of Record of Rights(RoR) of the forest land recognised under IFR and CFR in the State.
  13. Drop all forest cases filed against tribals and forest dwellers after the enactment of FRA, 2006.
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