An uphill struggle to grow the Forest Rights Act

Sharachchandra Lele

On December 18, 2006, the Rajya Sabha endorsed the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, enacted by the Lok Sabha. This Act, commonly known as the Forest Rights Act, or FRA, marks a watershed in India’s socio-environmental legislation, as it attempts to put an end to the long-drawn conflict over supposed ‘forest encroachments’. Simultaneously, it seeks to create a much more democratic, bottom-up forest governance.