Forests | Centre for Science and Environment


Rethink growth with forest capital

Can you love tigers but hate forests? This is the question that troubled me as I visited the middle of India last fortnight. I was in Nagpur, where local politicians, conservationists and officials were discussing what needed to be done in this chronically poor and backward region endowed with forests and tiger habitats.

The big idea for change: bamboo as grass

“Stroke of the pen” reform is critical as in many cases policy is dastardly and change is laggardly. The essential element is to find that big-ticket item that can have impact on a scale and at a pace that is needed. I believe Union environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh’s letter addressed to all chief ministers clarifying that bamboo is indeed a grass and not timber, is such an item.

How government is subverting forest right act

By: Richard Mahapatra, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Sumana Narayanan, Aparna Pallavi

Two tribal villages in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra—Mendha Lekha and Marda— savoured victory when they won community rights over their forest resources in August last year. The rights conferred under the Forest Rights Act of 2006 include the right to collect and sell minor forest produce (MFP). These include tendu leaves used in beedis, and bamboo that have high commercial value and were under the forest department’s control. Winning the right to manage these resources meant economic liberation to the two villages.

Is bamboo a tree or a grass?

The definition is contested as the answer has immense economic implications. If bamboo is a tree or timber, it belongs to the forest department and can be auctioned to the paper and pulp industry, often at throwaway rates. If it is a grass, then it would be classified as a minor forest produce and people would have the right to cut bamboo for sale or for value addition by making furniture or baskets.

CSE welcomes the government’s proposal to provide 26 per cent of mining profits to local communities

Critiques industry’s reported reticence in sharing its profits with project-affected people.

• New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says the provision of benefit-sharing envisioned in the proposed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2010 is the “first step towards repairing and repaying the damages done to poor communities living on mineral-rich lands”

Front Page Teaser: 

August 21, 2010
Critiques industry’s reported reticence in sharing its profits with project-affected people.

Report of the high powered committee on statutory clearances

In April 2008 an expert group was set up under the chairmanship of the secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs. It comprised representatives of the three industry lobbies (CII, FICCI, Assocham), the privately-owned Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services and Infrastructure Development and Finance Corporation and the government-owned India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd.


12 Fellows selected for the Eleventh CSE Media Fellowship - Justice at Bay : The Forest Rights Act

This fellowship was supported by Jamshedji Tata Trust

February 10, 2011 – April 10, 2011 

Millions of people are linked to forests, some derive their livelihoods from them, others call them home. The forests, however, are subjected to continuous exploitation due to varied reasons beyond the realm of sustenance, rendering the forest dwellers most vulnerable.

Front Page Teaser: 

Date : February 10, 2011 – April 10, 2011

Bullets are not the answer to development

The massacre of 76 policemen in Dantewada by naxalites is reprehensible. Yet we cannot brush aside the underlying poverty, deprivation and sheer lack of justice that are breeding tension and anger in vast areas of rural, tribal India. We cannot say that these developmental issues are long term—as the Congress spokesperson has reportedly said—while the immediate task is to annihilate the Naxalites.

Dont just count trees

Quality of forests is as important as tree cover

by B K P Sinha, former principal conservator of forests, Uttar Pradesh

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