ITDA organized a workshop to promote Forest Rights Act,2006 awareness in Simdega, Jharkhand

Sandip Chowdhury,Governance Specialist is addressing the meeting.

On January 10, 2023, the Integrated Tribal Development Authority (ITDA) in Simdega organized a district-level workshop at Nagar Bhawan, Simdega to promote awareness about the Forest Rights Act, 2006 (FRA). The workshop was inaugurated by the Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC), Sub Divisional Officer (SDO), DSP (Deputy Superintendent of Police), Project Director of ITDA, and District Welfare Officer (DWO). Around 100 people participated in the workshop, including Gram Pradhan, Panchayat Mukhiyas, FRC members, PRI members, Block Welfare Officers, and members of civil society. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the implementation of FRA in the district and its potential to enhance the livelihoods of tribal communities. 

During the workshop, Mr. Johnson Topno, Regional Head for Partnering Hope into Action (PHIA) Foundation, gave a session on FRA, 2006, providing a state outlook and discussing institutional responsibilities, particularly those of government institutions. Mr. Sandip Chowdhury, the project specialist who attended the meeting, introduced the attendees to the vision of BIPP-ISB’s flagship “Initiative on Forest Economy (IoFE)”. He presented the framework for the IoFE team’s innovative approach to implementing Community Forest Resource Rights (CFRR) in Simdega, which goes beyond tenure security and includes livelihood concerns and forest management. He emphasized the use and potential of the RatiFi app in filling CFR claims at scale and monitoring the filling process. 

Mr. Chowdhury’s address was well received, and community representatives asked clarifying questions on CFRR, which Mr. Johnson Topno answered. Local media was present to cover the event. The discussion of the workshop centered around a detailed elaboration of the objective, process, and problems related to FRA implementation in the district. Workshops focusing on spreading awareness about forest rights are essential for a better and more sustainable future of the forest economy, as forest communities have a fragmented understanding potential of CFRR and the technicalities of filing claims. 

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