Community Rights

What is the provision?

The Act provides for recognition of Community Rights of Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers.

Who are Forest Dwelling Tribes?

"Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes" means the members or community of the Scheduled Tribes who primarily reside in and who depend on the forests and forest lands for bona fide livelihood needs. It includes Scheduled Tribe pastoralist communities also.

Who are Other Traditional Forest Dwellers?

"Other Traditional Forest Dweller" means any member or community who has for at least three generations prior to 13.12.2005, primarily resided in and who depends on the forest or forests land for bona fide livelihood needs. (Whereas, One Generation means a period of 25 years.)

What are Community Rights?

  • right to hold and live in the forest land under the individual or common occupation for habitation or for self cultivation for livelihood
  • community rights such as nistar, by whatever name called, including those used in erstwhile Princely States, Zamindari or such intermediary regimes;
  • right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries;
  • other community rights of uses or entitlements such as fish and other products of water bodies, grazing (both settled or transhumant) and traditional seasonal resource access of nomadic or pastoralist communities;
  • rights, including community tenures of habitat and habitation for primitive tribal groups and pre- agricultural communities;
  • rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation unsurveyed villages and other villages in forest, whether recorded, notified, or not, into revenue villages;
  • right to protect, regenerate, or conserve or manage any community forest resource, which they have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use; [“community forest resource” means customary common forest land within the traditional or customary boundaries of the village, or seasonal use of landscape in the case of pastoral communities, including reserved forests, protected forests and protected areas such as Sanctuaries and National Parks to which the community had traditional access]
  • rights which are recognised under any State law or laws of any Autonomous District Council or Autonomous Regional Council or which are accepted as rights of tribals under any traditional or customary law of concerned tribes of any State;
  • right of access to biodiversity and community right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity;
  • any other traditional right customarily enjoyed by the forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes or other traditional forest dwellers, as the case may be, but excluding the traditional right of hunting or trapping or extracting a part of the body of any species of wild animal;