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1. FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT, 1980
2. OBJECTIVES FC ACT, 1980 - a Regulatory Act,
The Act is an interface between conservation and development
Permits judicious and regulated use of forest land for non-forestry purposes
Indiscriminate and massive diversion of forest land for non forestry purposes since independence.
Approximately 4.3 million ha. of forest land diverted during 1950 to 1980 for non forestry purposes.
The subject forest was brought in the concurrent list in 1977.
In 1980, the Forest (Conservation) Act was enacted for providing a higher level of protection to the forests and to regulate diversion of forest lands for non forestry purposes.
4. FC Act Main features: FC ACT, 1980 Prior approval of the Central Government is essential for de-reservation of forest lands and / or diversion of forest lands for non-forestry purposes.
It is a Regulatory Act, not prohibitory.
The Act is an interface between conservation and development.
Permits judicious and regulated use of forest land for non-forestry purposes.
-- By its order of 1996, the Apex Court has extended the provisions of the Act to all forests irrespective of ownership (including forests as understood in the dictionary sense)
5. Procedure for Forest Clearance -
Proposals recommended by the State / UT Govts. forwarded to the Central Govt. for approval under Section 2 of the Act.
Proposals examined by Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) constituted under Section 3 of the Act.
Decisions taken on the basis of the recommendations of the FAC.
FC Rules, 2003 prescribe specific time limits for processing the cases.
6. IMPACT OF THE ACT
During 1950-80, the rate of diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes was 1,50,000 hectares per annum
After enactment of the FC Act, 1980, the rate of diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes came down to about 35,000 ha per annum
7. PROGRESS OF FORESTRY CLEARANCES (1980- December, 2007)
Proposals received = 22,519
Development projects approved = 16,939
Did not Merit approval = 1,550
Closed/Returned due to want
of information or withdrawn by States = 2,230
Pending with GOI = 387
Pending with State/UT Governments = 1,413
Forest land diverted = 11.56 lakh hectare
8. Sector-Wise area diverted under FC Act, 1980 (in Percentage)
9. POLICY INITIATIVES OF MoEF Simplified Format of Application
Specific time limit for States and Central Govt. for expeditious processing of proposals (90/60 days for State Governments for fresh/renewal cases and 60 days for Central Government)
Regional Offices to process cases up to 40 ha (increased from 20 ha)
Site inspection by Regional Offices mandatory for proposals involving more than 100 ha of forest land (increased from 40 ha)
10. POLICY INITIATIVES Contd..
General approval for underground laying of electrical cables and electric wires, drinking water supply/water pipelines, telephone lines, etc.
General approval, up to 1 ha, for public utility projects, to be executed by Government Departments, like schools, dispensary/hospital, electric and telecommunication lines, drinking water, rainwater harvesting structure, minor irrigation canal, non-conventional sources of energy, skill up-gradation/vocational training centre, power sub stations, communication posts and police establishments like police stations/outposts/watch towers.
11. Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) FAC is a seven member Committee under the chairmanship of DGF & SS, MoEF.
Three non official members eminent experts in forestry and allied disciplines appointed for a period of two years.
ADGF, MoEF; Additional Commissioner (Soil Conservation), Ministry of Agriculture.
IGF (FC) -- Member Secretary
Meeting not less than once a month, generally at New Delhi
Quorum is Three.
12. Conditions stipulated .. Certain conditions are stipulated at the time of granting approval under FC Act:
Catchment Area Treatment,
Phased Reclamation of mining area
Safety zone Area
Rehabilitation of Project affected families, if any.
Muck disposal plan
Wildlife management plan etc.
13. CA, NPV etc. On the directions of the Apex court in 2002, a Net Present Value (NPV) of the forest land being diverted is being charged from the User Agencies.
NPV intrinsic cost of the land, tangible and intangible benefits of the forest area.
NPV charged @ Rs.5.8 lakh to Rs.9.2 lakh per ha depending on the type & density of the diverted forest land.
At present all the funds received from the State govts. / User Agencies are being deposited in Ad-hoc CAMPA.
14. CAMPA CAMPA was constituted by the Central Government vide notification dated 23.04.2004.
CAMPA is the custodian of CA Fundincluding all funds received from User Agencies--CA, NPV, CAT Plan, Penal CA Etc.
The funds are meant to be disbursed to the State/UT governments after receiving their proposals as per an Annual Plan of Operation (AOP).
The funds are mainly meant to compensate the loss of forests and ecological services and to facilitate regeneration of the services provided by the forests.
15. Concerns of Central Government
Poor achievement of Compensatory Afforestation (CA)
CA not being done on identified areas
Non-forest land for CA not being declared RF/PF
Land bank not identified in most of the States
16. Concerns Contd.. Quarterly progress report of General Approval granted by States not being received
Delay in processing of proposals under the FC Act at the State/ UT Government level
In-spite of a fast track mechanism in place for processing of proposals for Indo-China border roads extremely slow
17. Concerns CAMPA to be made fully functional.
Mechanism for management and disbursement of funds to the State Governments to be streamlined.
Monitoring and evaluation systems to be evolved and implemented.
Overseeing effective implementation of CA schemes, CAT Plans, Reclamation Plan etc.
Future guidelines to be issued under the Act .
18. Thank You.