Environment Ministry withdraws draft forest policy
The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has repudiated a ‘Draft National Forest Policy’ that it uploaded on its website earlier this month calling it an “inadvertent” error.
The ‘Draft National Forest Policy, 2016’, was uploaded on the Ministry’s website on June 16 along with an office memorandum calling for comments. “The Ministry is in the process of revising the present National Forest Policy, 1988. A draft National Forest Policy in this regard has been prepared and enclosed. All stakeholders are requested to send their comments, if any, by email…by June 30, 2016.
The Environment Ministry had tasked the Bhopal-based Indian Institute of Forest Management, an affiliated organisation, with reviewing and revising the existing forest policy. This is the first time that the policy was being re-looked since 1988 as it wanted to update the several changes in forest laws and provide a forward-looking policy that talked about increasing India’s forest cover and tackling the effects of climate change.
The draft policy, made several suggestions including promoting the commercial use of wood, a greater role for industry in forest management and time-bound reviews of the progress being made in effectively managing forests.It however didn’t explicitly mention the role of tribals in forest management and the protection accorded by the Forest Rights Act.