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MANAGEMENT OF FORESTS

In Nagaland, the pattern of land ownership is such that the land is owned either by the village community as a whole or by a clan within the village or by individuals. There are no records for conferring upon them ownership rights but the individual rights are exclusively determined by traditions which is also referred to as “Customary laws”. These Customary Laws are un-codified, and yet very effectively applied and interpreted by the traditional Village Councils in the event of any dispute. The Forest Department owns certain areas classified as Reserved Forests, Protected Forests, Wildlife Sanctuaries, National parks, Nurseries and Botanical Gardens. In order to ensure supply of raw material to Tuli Paper Mill, the Department had purchased land mostly Bamboo bearing in various parts of the State.

National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries are managed under management plans duly approved by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, New Delhi. Wood harvesting in private plantations is regulated according to “Nagaland Tree Felling Regulation Rules, 2017” and private/community natural forests are managed for harvesting under Working schemes duly approved by MoEF&CC, New Delhi.

JOINT FOREST MANAGEMENT (JFM)

Joint forest management of forests was started with the Government Notification No. FOR-153 (Vol-II) Dated 05.03.1997: This is in conformity with the National Forest Policy of involving the people in the management, development, protection and sharing of forest produce jointly with the State Government and also taking into account the land holding pattern in Nagaland, where execution of any developmental activity is virtually impossible without the prior consent and active co-operation of the landowners concerned.

 

Objectives of JFM
  • To elicit active participation of villagers in (a) creation (b) management and (c) protection of plantations;
  • To achieve ecological needs consonant with sustainable productive Forestry;
  • To create a wood-based economy for the people.
Areas to be covered
  • Non-Governmental lands that can be put into use for Forestry:
  • Non-Governmental Virgin Forests: and
  • Any other land of the State, which may be managed under JFM.
State level Working Group

A working Group has been constituted at the State Level at Kohima under the Chairmanship of the Principal Secretary to the Government of Nagaland, Department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Kohima for the implementation of the Scheme under:

 Principal Secretary (Forest) – Chairman

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests – Member Secretary

Home Commissioner or his Official representative – Member

Chief Conservator of Forests – Member

Conservator of Forests (STC/NTC) – Member

Two (2) Deputy Conservator of Forests – Member

Village Level Community Forest Committee (CFC)

In order to implement Scheme(s) under the Joint Forests Management(JFM),Village level Forest Committees called “Community Forest Committees (CFC’s)” have been constituted involving the Government Officials concerned and representatives of the members of the land owning community whose appointment/ nomination is made with the consent of the Village Council concerned. The Constitution of the CFC is as follows:

  1. Non-Government Land:
    Chairman (Official)Divisional Forest Officer or Range or Beat Officer having jurisdiction over the area;
    Secretary (Non-Official)From the land owing Community Members Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) or Extra Assistant Commissioner to be deputy Commissioner having Jurisdiction over the area; and
    Members (Non-Official)2 (two) Non-Official Members to be nominated the land owning community, and 1(one) Forester/ Forest Guard as Official member to be appointed by the Chairman.

    The Chairman as the representative of the Department has Veto power on financial and technical Matters for the given project

  2. Government Land
    Chairman (Official)Divisional Forest Officer or Range/Beat Officer having jurisdiction over the area;
    Secretary (Non-Official)A Forest Official appointed by the Chairman;
    MembersSub-Divisional Officer (Civil) or Extra Assistant Commissioner to be appointed as official members (Official) by the Deputy Commissioner having jurisdiction over the area; or
    Members (Non-Official)3 (three) Non-Official Members to be nominated by the concerned village authorities from the participating community
  3. Terms of Office:
    • Non-Official members from the participating Community shall be in Office for the term of 5 (five) years, and
    • Official members shall be as per designation/appointment made to the effect.
  4. Procedure for Site Selection:
    • Non-Government Land: The land owning community on the recommendation of the concerned Village Council, apply for Joint Forest Management Scheme through the Divisional Forest Officer. The Divisional Forest Officer sends the recommended cases to the Conservator of Forests who finalizes the selection of Joint Forest Management Project Site(s).
    • Government Land: All Joint Forest Management proposals are taken only after prior approval of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests/Government

REVISED OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES OF NATIONAL AFFORESTATION PROGRAMME (NAP)-2009:

The Revised Operational Guidelines (2009) of the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) have been issued to further decentralize the project cycle management of the Scheme with a view to expedite fund transfer to the villagelevel implementing organization, that is the Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) and Eco-development Committees (EDcs), ¹ to embed the Scheme in the overall forestry development programme of the State /UT, build capacity of the institutional actors and institutions, and promote livelihoods of JFMC members by linking forest development to value addition and marketing of forest products. Some of the highlights of the revised guidelines are given below:

ORGANISATIONAL SET-UP FOR IMPLEMENTATION:

The scheme would provide for implementation of new projects as well as completion and maintenance of plantations undertaken earlier under the Scheme, as per this Guideline. The Scheme will be implemented by a three-tier institutional set-up, namely State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) at the State/UT level, Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) at the forest division level, and Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) or Eco-development Committees (EDCs) at the village level. The focus of the institutional work would be towards regeneration and management of forest resources while strengthening the village level capacity for the same.

OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHEME

The hierarchy of objectives of the Scheme described in the ‘Logical Framework’ format is as follows:

    • Super-Goal:Sustainable development and management of forest resources.
    • Goal: Increase and/or Improve Forest and Tree Cover (FTC)
    • Purpose: Rehabilitation of degraded forests and other areas by institutionalizing
    • Decentralized/participatory forest management and supplementing livelihoods
    • Improvement processes.
General BodyExecutive Body
Chairperson: Principal Chief Conservator of ForestsChairperson: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Force.
Member: Chairpersons and CEOs of Centrally sponsored afforestation schemes.

Member Secretary: CCF and Nodal officer for NAP
Members: Officers not below the rank of CCF dealing with Development, Social Forestry and Protection to be nominated. Director of Panchayati Raj and Tribal Welfare Departments, Representatives of Revenue and Rural Development Departments.

Chairpersons of 2 FDAs and CEOs of 2 FDAs or any other scheme being implemented through SFDA, to be nominated by Chairperson on rotational basis for a period of two years.

General Body will meet at least once a yearThe Executive Body can co-opt other Members as and when necessary. It will meet as often as necessary as but not less than twice a year.

JFMC/EDC:

Joint Forest Management Committee/Eco-Development Committee is the implementing agency at the village level. The composition and functions of the JFMCs/EDCs are governed by the JFM order adopted in that State/ UT, however, the JFMCs/EDCs executing this Scheme maybe reconstituted to have minimum representation of the marginalized groups as prescribed in the JFMCs/EDCs and are registered as per the provisions of the JFM order in that State/UT. However, if no such provision has been made in the said order, these are registered with the concerned Divisional Forest Office. Joint Forest Management Committee/ Eco-development Committee will have the following structure;

General BodyExecutive Body
Chairperson:
President of JFMC/EDC Elected by consensus/majority vote and will hold this position for a period of two years. It will be ensured that a woman member elected as President at least for alternative terms.
Chairperson:
President of JFMC/EDC
Members:
All adult villagers subject to their willingness. Member secretaries of the Executive Body shall be ex-officio member of the General Body.

Member Secretary: 
Respective Forester/Block Forest Officer
Members:
Six member of whom three shall be women, drawn from the General body to be elected by a majority of at least 2/3rd members of General Body present and voting.

Treasurer appointed from among the EC members by the Member Secretary in consultation with the President.

At least one member from the forest-based artisan community, and if no such community is residing in the village, then a representative of the socially most marginal community shall be a member.

Ex-officio Member: Two members of whom one will be a woman representing the Panchayat of the area in which JFMC falls, to be nominated by the Member Secretary

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