Odisha forest dwellers seek permanent relief under FRA

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  1. A large number of forest dwellers have held a protest after the Central government’s recent failure to defend the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in the Supreme Court. Protestors have demanded a permanent relief under the FRA.
  2. The Supreme court had ordered eviction of more than 10 lakh Scheduled Tribe and other forest-dwellers (OTFDs) households from forestlands across 21 states after their claims over forest land rights under the FRA, 2006 were rejected by states. Recently, the Supreme Court has stayed its earlier order.
  3. The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 seeks to recognize forest rights of Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers who have been occupying and are dependent on the forest land for generations.
  4. The Act recognizes a) Community Rights or rights over common property resources of the communities in addition to their individual rights, b) right of ownership, access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce, c) Rights in and over disputed land Rights of settlement and conversion of all forest villages, old habitation, un-surveyed villages and other villages in forests into revenue villages, d) right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource which the communities have been traditionally protecting and conserving for sustainable use, e) right to rehabilitation in case of illegal eviction or displacement from forest land, f) Right to intellectual property and traditional knowledge related to biodiversity and cultural diversity