The Individual Versus the Common in the Recognition of Forest Rights Act, 2006

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On December 29th 2006, the Indian parliament promulgated a legislation to “recognise and vest the forest rights and occupation in forest land in forest dwelling” [1] to adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers, “who have been residing in forests for generations but whose rights could not be recorded”. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, not only recognises individual land rights, which in principle must be jointly registered in the names of the spouses in case of married persons, it also recognizes community rights to use, manage, and protect forest resources. Further, this Act stipulates the conditions for relocation and rehabilitation in “critical wildlife habitations” with the requirement of “free informed consent” from the displaced and the offer of alternative land. The Act, moreover, holds precedence over all other forest and wildlife related laws. - See more at: