The Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry and Tribal Affairs Ministry today signed a Joint Communication to provide more powers to tribal communities in managing the forest resources. The Joint Communication is related to Forest Rights Act which recognizes and provides forest rights to tribal communities and forest dwellers. The Joint Communication was signed in the presence of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar and Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda.
Terming this signing of Joint Communication a historic day, Mr. Javadekar said, Union Government is committed for the welfare of the tribal communities and forest dwellers. He said, this communication will empower the tribal communities and help in effective implementation of the Forest Rights Act. He said, five lakh tribals have been given land rights and more than 25 thousand committees of Gram Sabha were formed in the last seven years. He said, the tribal budget has been doubled and four lakh forest dwellers have benefitted from Van Dhan Scheme. He directed the Forest and Tribal Officers to include Gram Sabha in the planning and management of forest.
Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said, tribal communities and forest dwellers have always promoted the conservation of forests. He said, water, forest and land is our traditional system and tribal communities are the keepers of the forest. He said, signing of Joint Communication is the extension of Forest Rights Act and it will help in maintaining the biodiversity and resources of the forest.