Forest Management in Himachal
Pradesh: Way Forward
Key Issues for discussion
Advocate Supreme Court and Managing Partner,
Enviro legal Defence Firm
A no of firsts in H.P.
Ist Forest Sector Policy, 2005
Ist Medicinal Plants Policy, 2006
Eco-tourism Development Policy , 2006
Ist PES Policy, 2013
H.P. Climate Change Action Plan
PFM- What is?
Participatory forestry refers to
processes and mechanisms which
enable people with a direct stake in
forest resources to be part of decisionmaking in all aspects of forest
management, including policy
formulation processes.( FAO)
PFM Initiatives in the State
The first GO on JFM came in 1993,
primary objective of checking degradation in protected
forests (PFs) and village common lands and
to regenerate and rejuvenate those forest lands with the
active participation of the local people, so that the access to
fuel wood, fodder and other forest produce can be ensured
to the local community
H.P. Participatory Forest Management Regulations, 2001.
Issued under the Indian Forest Act, 1927.
Idea of ‘sustainable forest management’ for the first time.
Revised guidelines on Sanjhi Van Yojana in 2001
Rural livelihood enhancement and capacity building
HP Forest Sector Policy, 2005
The H.P. forest Sector policy of 2005 has participation as
it core principle.
Increased public participation in decision-making
through involvement of civil societies and village
communities through programs such as JFM/PFM,
Better understanding of local people’s issues and their
rights on forests and forest resources,
Shift towards Decentralized and more people-oriented
forestry especially in Scheduled Areas under PESA,
Integration of participatory monitoring and evaluation in
HP Forest Sector Policy-2005
Inclusion of international forestry concerns and global commitments
like SFM, UNFF and NBLI,
Holistic management of forest sector considering watershed, bio
diversity, wildlife habitats, recreation function of the sector,
Promotion of certification for sustainable managed forests and green
products (creating new global market for forest based services &
products) under CDM,
Decrease in subsidies and increased private participation in the sector,
Enhanced livelihoods security of the forest dependent people of H.P.,
Democratic governance of forests with increased representation of
women and other resource poor groups, and
Systematic and appropriate land use in the SFM context, focusing on
primary land use sectors, to increase productivity.
PFM and Forest Sector
Diff. forest categories – Community Forests
Review the local rights and concessions over forests from
erstwhile princely states in the participatory manner
given the depleting forest resources, reorganizations of
state, and changing socio-economic status.
equal responsibility on the right holders “to identify
themselves with the protection, development and
management of forests in order to ensure the continuity
and sustainability of such rights and concessions
Forest Sector Policy and Strategy Action Plan, 2006 ???
1. Legal sanctity to PFM- Is the
current model appropriate?
Is it appropriate
to issue under
Section 80 and 81
of IFA, 1927
Section 80 refers to “joint
ownership of property” . Is it??
Although the main section
changes it to “Interest” in forest
or waste land.
Sec 81- Unilateral “satisfaction”
on performance! Although right
to be hear exists.
Why Section 28 –the concept of “village
forest” not invoked?
Suggested in 2006-7! A no of aspects
could have been covered-M&E
2. Institutionalising VFDS
So while the management has a legal
sanctity but what about the instutition?
VFDS to be registered
under Societies Registration
Incentive versus Charitable model?
Have we reached the stage of mature
community based forest enterprises,
Gram Panchayat Ward Level
Are we ready to be producer company (s)
by federating common forest based
enterprise groups on specific, marketable
forest based products?
Mahila Mandals, Yuva
mandals, User groups, Self
Help Groups, graziers group
3. The legal consequence of the the
shift from MoU to MoA?
Has the MoA secured
investments as well as
be accountabality to
4. Is there a clear benefit sharing
arrangement under PFM?
Is it a transparent mechanism?
Does the community understand
How would it impact
Is there a confusion between usufructs,
timber and cash benefits?
How does it plan to
regimes of benefits
say under FRA,
Are benefits commensurate with efforts?
What are parameters to measure efforts
and incremental benefits?
Access and benefit sharing from use of bio
resources- BD Act; NGT orders- any linkage to
5. Is there an independent dispute
Is it known, notified,
accessible to the
Elaborate arrangement –starting
from Dy.Range level- but a “judge
on his own cause “ model!
Is the Conflict Resolution Group
What are the legal
Participatory conflict resolution
mechanisms like Lok Van Adalats
wherein PRIs, government
departments, and other stakeholders
will help resolve issues related to
demarcation, rights and concessions,
other grievances in forest area ( FP2005)
6. Is there a mechanism to deal with
potential valid claims from outside?
From neighbours (village and
communities) on the allocated
What about potential conflicts
from rights secure by settlement
process? TD Rights?
information. ( Forest
FRA claims such as rights of
PVTGs; PACs, Community
H.P. Forest (Timber
Distribution to the Right
Holders) Rules, 2013
7. VFDCs and Gram Sabhas
– Suitability of institutions
CAG Findings- Audit Objections
MOEF response of VFDCs as a
subset of Gram Sabha
8. Implications of The Forest Rights Act
and Rules especially the September
2012 Amendment Rules
FRA seeks to operationalise statutory
committee for management,
protection, conservation, use and
regeneration of forests as Community
Forset Resource as a Right.
Confusion on Community
/Welfare Rights and
How would VFDCs cope with such
committees as and when they are
Confusion over forest
rights and settled and
Conservation and management plan
versus micro plans, working plans,
9. Is JFM operationalised
differently in scheduled areas?
Especially in the light of the fact
that the Gram Sabha is the
statutory controlling authority of
forests , among other things,
The omnibus powers granted to
Gram Sabha for management of
natural resources especially
10. Ownership of minor forest
produce under both PESA and FRA
How does one deal with the
ownership of minor forest produce
under both PESA and FRA when
compared with usufructs and
privileges under JFM?
HP Resin and Resin Products
(Regulation of Trade) Act, 1981
Mandi Minor Forest Produce
Exploitation and Export Act, 1937
(amended 1997) &
Chamba Minor Forest Produce
Exploitation and Export Act, 1943
Now Transit Permit Privilege to
Gram Sabha to ease transit of MFP
under September 2012 Rules.
Nationalisation versus Ownership?
Tree Grass debate has been
settled! IFA definition of tree
Is there any need for giving Ecodevelopment Committees (EDCs) legal
Does such Institutions facilitate
What is the response to the BCRLIP
Model ? Are we contemplating a
landscape institutional model?
12. Unique ExperimentsKangra District
Why did it not replicate? Where is
Devbans (sacred groves), etc.
Any recognition in the PFM frame?
Rakhas (Village forest
Rakha -an example of how village and
the forest department jointly employed a
village forest guard for everyday forest
management of both government forests
as well as common and private forests in
old Kangra, Una, Lahual, and Hamirpur
Any linkage to these old systems?
PES; Ecotourism and PFM?
Community Based Eco Tourism- Eco Tourism Policy, 2006
Mechanism for partnership with local communities and
private enterprise committed to the goals of ecotourism
What’s the Linkage between VFDS and Ecotourism?
HP Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) Policy, 2013
Has it been operationalized?
How does one see it in relation to CAMPA and GIM funds?
HP Medicinal Plant Policy 2006 Concepts of MPCAs, Role of HPSFC, Ltd – Is there a linkage
with VFDS? Esp Benefit sharing models?
13. Conservation Reserves and
Community Reserves under
The protected area regime
introduced two community based
institutions on government land
and community owned or private
land namely conservation reserve
and community reserves under
the Wildlife Protection Act.
Have we analysed the reason for
the failure of such institutions
under the PA regime?
14. Global Developments
and local relevance-REDD+
Does our communIty understand
global developements such as
REDD+? Or they are mere slogans
What is our stand on national,
subnational and nested approach
under a future REDD+ regime?
15. JFM and REDD+
Is the JFM benefit sharing
arrangement matured enough
to deal with future REDD+
Does it address the tenure
Does it address the Indigenous
People’s ( tribal’s) concerns?
16. REDD+ measurements
of carbon and community
Can REDD+ measurements of
carbon be done through easy
community based models?
How do we engage communities
in MRV ( monitoring; reporting
and verification) ?
17. VFDCs and CAMPA
Should VFDCs or other forest
based communities monitor
Can VFDCs or other forest
based communities monitor
18. VFDCs and Forest
Should VFDCs or other forest
based communities monitor FC
Can VFDCs or other forest based
communities monitor FC
19. Community based
Can there be a special hand
holding mechanism (
INSTITUTION) for developing
community based forest
20. Post Claim Strategy and Forest
Have we intervened enough for
community buy in through post
claim handholding on FRA
Dovetailing other programs on
forestry and community
livelihoods is no more a luxury but
a necessity .
So what is the post claim strategy?
Is there an institutional response?
21. JFMCs and other community based
institutions on Natural Resources
Are we engaging with other
community based instutions
such as Watershed
Committees; Water Users
Is there an institutional
Alignment with other forest
related Acts and Rules
Village Forests under IFA, 1927
The Himachal Pradesh Village Common Lands Vesting and Utilization Act, 1974
Shamlat tarat, pati, pannas, common ghasinis, and thala
The 1952 Notification dispute and implications of PFM
The Nautor Rules conflict and FCA! Does it impact PFM?
HP Land Revenue Act, 1953
HP Private Forests Act, 1954 and Rules 1969
HP Forest Produce Transit (Land Routes) Rules, 1978, and Amendment, 1993
HP Land Preservation Act, 1978 and Rules 1983
HP Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1982
HP Resin and Resin Products (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1981
H.P. Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, Notfn of 2000 and Forest Committees; PESA Amendments 2011
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