The Indian Forest Rights Act (2006) and rights of forest-dwellers of Koraput, Odisha

Gaur, Kamla (2018) The Indian Forest Rights Act (2006) and rights of forest-dwellers of Koraput, Odisha. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis is an intersectional study of forest rights of forest-dwellers in the tribal territory of Koraput, India. The thesis is developed around a piece of path-breaking legislation, the Forest Rights Act (FRA) of India 2006, under which land titles and resource use rights are being granted to many forest-dwelling households and communities.This work exclusively deals with the individual title holders of forest land under the FRA. It explores three important questions: 1) what is the history of forest-rights delineation in Koraput?, 2) how are the rights of forest-dwelling people being settled under FRA? and, 3) what are the complexities of land use in these tribal forestlands?}

The thesis has used a mixed-methods approach to build and connect its three focus areas. Historical aspects of local forest rights have been explored through the lens of colonial and post-colonial forest policy analysis. The investigation of the various aspects of FRA implementation and ground realities combines cross-disciplinary approaches from political and gendered micro geography. The analysis of emerging land use on forest lands allotted under FRA is influenced by the Sen’s theory of entitlements, endowments and capabilities {Sen, 2001}. A multi-approach assessment methodology has been used by analysing a wide range of data streams including historical documents, household surveys, interviews, participatory maps, observations, group discussions and secondary data sets.

Key findings that have emerged from this thesis are, 1) the consequences of the implementation of colonial and post-colonial forest policy measures on Koraput's forest-dwellers are substantial and unique geography of Koraput has produced new insights to the existing knowledge of history of forest rights in India, 2) FRA is a promising piece of legislation that has achieved significant political and bureaucratic collaboration in Koraput, but it is marred by major operational inefficiencies, and 3) the newly created FRA-lands will provide opportunities for policy makers and title owners to reconsider many existing norms including legal versus illegal occupation of forest land, forest-farming practices on FRA lands, and a need for renewed forest and land management goals for FRA territories in tribal India.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Watkins, Charles
Jewitt, Sarah
Keywords: PhD Thesis, Forest rights, Tribal, Koraput
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
S Agriculture > SD Forestry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 51957
Depositing User: Gaur, Kamla
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 08:02

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