Meaning of 'forest' set to change in India

How should a 'forest' be defined in India? The Union ministry of environment and forests is currently preoccupied with this question. Placing this process in context, archi rastogi finds the custodian of India's forests could become an even bigger landlord. Yet this deal could be sweet for industry and bitter for poor inhabitants of India's forests

 
Last Updated: Sunday 07 June 2015

Meaning of 'forest' set to change in India

  HEREINAFTER
The Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) has reached the first milestone of its ministerial excercise 'Defining Forest in Indian Context'. At a 2-day meeting held April 30-May 1, 2007, the Ashoka Trust

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  AT STAKE
At the April end workshop, the consultants put forward a draft definition henceforth, forests in India would be defined as "an area under Government control notified or recorded as 'forest' under any Act,


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  BIGGEST LANDLORDS
An annual demand of over a million railway sleepers translated into an unregulated assault on fores; among other, the sal forests of Garhwal and Kumaon were devasted. Realising forests


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  DEFINING MOMENT
There is no doubt that India needs a definition of 'forest'. The situation of parallel governance - ministry and court; forest laws and court orders - has ensured that the status quo in forest management is


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