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Community Managed Forests: Law, Problems, and Alternatives

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Dutta, Ritwick
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Globalisation, the Ninth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Conf. Date: June 17-21, 2002
Date: 2002
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/446
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
forest management
community forestry
forest law
deforestation--comparative analysis
Abstract: "The North-Eastern region of India, which comprises the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim has about 7% of India's dense forest cover. (Forest Survey of India, 1995). However, more than 60% of India's wood products (plywood, sawn logs, planks, matchsticks etc.) used to come from this region prior to 1997. This huge supply of wood products in itself is a terrible burden for a region that accounts for only 7.7% of India's total land area. "The effects of this rampant destruction of forests is visible in almost all the areas of the North-East e.g. in Meghalaya - the abode of clouds - a new problem of drinking water has arisen, and one come across the paradoxical expression, 'the wet desert of Cherrapunji.' Mizoram and Tripura offers examples of what the future holds for the remaining 'sisters' - they have virtually no forest left! According to the Sixth Plan document for Tripura, 'the 2000 odd Sq. km. recorded as protected forests, do not contain any forest worth the name, except - scattered trees and lower types of vegetation.' "The fundamental question that would therefore arise is that what makes the destruction of forests so easy in the North-East compared to the rest of the country? Are the laws being violated or are they insufficient to deal with the problem?"

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