Forest Conservation (Rules), 2022

Forest Conservation (Rules), 2022

News: Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has issued the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022.

What are the Provisions of Forest Conservation (Rules), 2022?

Formation of Committees - It constituted an Advisory Committee, a regional empowered committee at each of the integrated regional offices and a screening committee at State/Union Territory (UT) government-level.

Time Frame – A fixed time for quicker review of each project. For example, The Project Screening Committee will meet at least twice every month and will advise the state governments on projects in a time bound manner.

Regional Empowered Committee - It will examine all the linear projects (e.g. roads, highways, etc) involving land up to 40 hectares and the use of forest land up to 0.7 canopy density.

Compensatory Allowance - If the state already has over two-thirds area under green cover or over one- third area under forest cover, then CA could be taken in other states/UTs where the cover is less than 20%.
• States are given the responsibility of settling forest rights of forest dwellers (Forest Rights Act, 2006) and allowing diversion of forest land.

Other Initiatives for Forest Conservation:

National Afforestation Programme
Indian Forest Policy Act, 1952
Forest Conservation Act, 1980
National Forest Policy, 1988
of 1972, EPA of 1986, Biodiversity Act of 2002
Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

More about Forests in India:
• According to India State of Forest Report, 2021, the Total Forest and Tree cover is now 7,13,789 square kilometres, 21.71% of the country’s geographical area, an increase from 21.67% in 2019.
• Forest Cover (Area-wise): Madhya Pradesh> Arunachal Pradesh> Chhattisgarh> Odisha> Maharashtra.
• The forests are categorized into Reserve Forests > Protected Forests > Village Forests

Constitutional Provisions protecting Forests:
• Through the 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 Forests and Protection of Wild Animals and Birds were transferred from State to Concurrent List.
• Article 48 A in the DPSP, mandates that the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
• Article 51 A (g) of the Constitution states that it shall be the Fundamental Duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests and Wildlife.

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