Bamboo now a minor forest produce
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked states to treat bamboo as a minor forest produce (MFP). Environment minister Jairam Ramesh directed the states to ask their forest departments to follow this categorisation in a letter dated March 21.
How government is subverting forest right act
Maharashtra muddies bamboo rights
He also asked the states to respect the rights of the comm unities living in forests as per the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of 2006 . The Act recognises bamboo as an MFP and vests the “right of ownership, access to collect, use and dispose of minor forest pr oduce” with Scheduled Tribes and traditional forest dwellers (see ‘Major battle over minor produce’, Down To Earth, November 1-15, 2010).
The forest departments have been refusing to give communities the control over bamboo. They insist that since the Indian Forest Act 1927 treats bamboo as a tree, it cannot be treated as an MFP (see ‘Is bamboo a tree or a grass’, Down to Earth, December 1-15, 2010). In the letter, Ram esh said that gram sabhas will have the right to issue transit passes to transport bamboo out of forest for sale in areas where rights to the community forests resources are recognised under FRA (see ‘Bamboo sale for bamboo rights’, Down To Earth, March 16-31, 2011).
The letter also stated that extraction levels of bamboo will be decided by the respective gram sabhas. They will develop a management plan for commercial harvesting of bamboo in consultation with the forest department.
In areas where community claims on forests are not settled, the forest department will develop management plans. The revenue generated from bamboo cultivation will be shared with the communities.
Move from news to views and get in-depth reports on issues that matter to you, every fortnight.
Subscribe now »
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation.
This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.