Jammu: A meeting to review preparedness of Forest Department for implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006 was conducted today here under the chairmanship of, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) (HoFF), J&K Dr. Mohit Gera,
The meeting was attended by all officers of the Forest Department up to the level of Divisional Forest Officers (Territorial).
Speaking at the meeting, the PCCF emphasized the role of the Forest Department in smooth conduct of different processes and procedures involved in Implementation of FRA at the level of Gram Sabha, Sub-Divisional Level Committee and District Level Committee.
As per the act, the role of frontline staff of the Forest Department is crucial in provisioning of the records and maps to the Forest Rights Committee and its field verification, he said.
He said that the forest Officers at the level of Range Officers being members of Sub-Divisional Level Committee have to play an important role in the consolidation of maps along with examination of resolution provided by the Gram Sabha, and prepare Block or Tehsil wise draft record of the proposed Forest Rights after reconciliation of the Government records etc.
At the district level, the Divisional Forest Officers being the important member of District Level Committee have to participate in consideration and deciding on the claims and records of forest rights prepared by the Sub-Divisional Level Committee, the PCCF informed.
The Forest Rights Act provides a framework for recording forest rights so vested and the nature of evidence required for such recognition and vesting in respect of forest land. The Act also gives the forest rights holder, the responsibility and authority for sustainable use, conservation of biodiversity and maintenance of ecological balance.
The Act is expected to strengthen the conservation regime of the forests of Jammu & Kashmir while ensuring livelihood and food security of Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers. The Forest Department has been gearing up for providing its full support for the smooth implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the UT of Jammu & Kashmir. The department has been conducting the trainings of the Divisional Forest Officer & Range Officer level with the involvement of resource persons and experts of national repute and who have implemented the Act in different states of the country. The trainings of frontline staff also have been conducted in practical knowledge of the Act and the processes involved at Gram Sabha level. The staff is also being trained in GPS handling as well as in the matters related to records and maps.
The preparedness of the department on availability of forest records such as compartment maps, beat maps & demarcation records with all the Divisions/ Ranges & Blocks in sufficient number was also reviewed. These records will be made available as and when required by the Forest Rights Committee.
The meeting was attended by Sarvesh Rai, APCCF/ CEO CAMPA; F. A. Gillani, Addl. Pr. Chief Conservator of Forests (Kashmir); K. Ramesh Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests (Jammu); Shally Ranjan, Chief Conservator of Forests (S&D); Dr. B. Balaji, Conservator of Forests; Irfan Ali Shah, Conservator of Forests, Working Plan, all Conservator of Forests (Territorial), and other Senior Officers of the Department.