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SAVE THE FOREST

Overall objective of the planned work is to save the forest and increase the forest cover for the 'people and the planet'.
This can be achieved by reversing the present mode of using forest that has created an ecological crisis in the
relationship between human and nature. The present mode of forest use has most adversely affected the sources of
livelihood of the Indigenous People and has undermined their traditional role of being the custodians of forests in India.
Any efforts of restoration of this role of their in re-establishing a harmonious and symbiotic relationship between human
civilization and nature that includes animal kingdom well demands a drastic policy change in forest governance.

Jharkhand Save the Forest Movement (JJBA; Jarkhand Jungle Bachao Andolan) is essentially an Adivasi led organization.
Out of 48-core committee member, the apex decision-making body, only two are non-tribals. The work is guided,
directed, implemented, represented and monitored by the Adivasis who will work for the benefit of their own
communities. JJBA tends to use Adivasi language in all spheres of activities, which are reported back to the people also
by its news letter called Sarjom Sakam (Sal Leaf), published monthly in 2 Adivasi languages and in Hindi.


The passing of the Forest Rights Act 2006 by the Indian Parliament may be considered a step forward towards the
needed change of forest governance. Though the Act does not provide ownership of tenural rights, it has created a
tangible space for community management of the forest and recognizes forest dwellers rights to live and engage in
cultivation inside forests. It has also remarkably made provisions for a substantial change in the working of the Forest
Department. Considering the fact that in Indian political system what is given in the state process is denied by the state
mechanism it is extremely important to not only be vigilant but more importantly to mobilize and capacitate the forest
dwelling Adivasis for the proper implementation of the Act.
1. In the first year the immediate tasks are:
a) To make the forest dwelling Adivasis aware of the Act, its popular interpretation, its rules and mode of
implementation, workshops will be organised as well as village level meetings under the auspices of the Village Council
(Gram Sabha). Public meetings are organised for people's mobilisation at the village, block, district and state levels to
demonstrations, rallies and to submit memorandum the proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006.

Pamphlets and other materials are to be printed and distributed among the people as a part of the awareness building
programme. Reading materials are to be prepared and printed for the use of the workshops. New cadres and activists
are trained and capacitated to take up the job.

b) People shall be mobilised to prepare and present their claims of the homestead and cultivable lands to the block,
district and state level committees, to be constituted by Government to settle the forest rights.

c) People will be supported to implement Community forest Governance as opposed to the Joint Forest Management

All of the employed coordinators will be from the Adivasi society including the accountant of the project.
2. In the 2nd year more thrust is given on the forest governance. JJBA campaigns to prepare and present the claims
forms through Gram Sabhas. The campaign for the land rights in the forest will also continue but at a low ebb as by 2008
the land claims might be largely settled in Jharkhand.
Focus is on strengthening of the Gram Sabhas (Village Councils) for the regulation of the forests of the village will be
focused under the project. Formation of the Forest Protection committees will assume an important task at this stage.
Our on going programme of the formation and activation of the Forest Dependent Women's Cooperative will receive
some support at this stage.

Implementation of the Forest Act 2006 implies not only the assertion of right to live and cultivate forest land but more
importantly management of the forest, its protection and regeneration and its judicious use for the benefit of essentially
the forest dwelling Indigenous People. To meet this end it is an urgent task to replace the notorious Joint Forest
Management (JFM) Strategy of the Forest Department by a solely community driven forest management strategy.


We have reconstructed the traditional method of forest management of the Indigenous Peoples of Jarkhand. The
reconstruction has been done by combining Indigenous wisdom with scientific knowledge of forests to Community
Forest Governance (CFG).

Indian environmental movement
In analyzing the Indian environmental movement there is material, political and ideological expressions which are different from each
other. The material context is provided by the wide-ranging struggles over natural resources. These conflicts have set in opposition on
the one side, social groups who have gained from economic development while being insulated from ecological degradation and on the
other poorer and relatively powerless groups such as small peasants, pastoral nomads, tribal and fishing communities whose livelihood
have been seriously undermined through a combination of resource flows biased against them and a growing deterioration of the
environment. According to Guha and Gadgil, the origins of these conflicts lie in the process of development itself. While forests, water
and other natural resources are diverted to produce energy and commodities for the rich, the poor are made to bear the social and
environmental costs of economic development whether in form of declining availability of natural resources a more polluted
environment or increasingly physical displacement.
With these struggles as its backdrop the political expression of Indian environmentalism has been the organization by social action
groups of the victims of environmental degradation. Action groups have embarked upon three distinct set of initiatives .First through a
process of organization and struggle they have tried with varying degrees of success to prevent ecologically destructive economic
practices. Second they have promoted the environmental message through the skillful use of the media and finally these groups have
also taken up programmes of environmental rehabilitation like afforestation,soil conservation and so on, restoring degraded village
ecosystems and thereby enhancing the quality of life of the inhabitants.
The party system in India have turned a blind eye to the continuing impoverishment of Indias natural resource base and the t hreat this
poses to the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable population. At the same time they have supported resource wasteful, ecologically
destructive and centralizing technologies such as nuclear power plants and large dams .It has been left to the social groups called non
party political formations by Political scientist Rajni Kothari to focus public attention on the linkages between ecological degradation and
rural poverty.
Through the process of struggle, the spreading of consciousness and constructive work action groups has developed an incisive
critique of the development process. Environmental activists have raised major questions about the orientation of economic planning in
India, its in-built biases in favour of the commercial-industrial sector and its neglect of ecological considerations. Among the variety of
protest forms used by groups resisting environmental degradation ,first comes the pradarshan a collective show of strength by
communities at the receiving end of environmental degradation be the peasants opposing commercial forestry or forcible acquisition of
land or fisher folk protesting illegal trawling. This take the form of a procession culminating in a meeting near the locus of official power-
a dam project site or office of DM in which a petition may be presented to the authorities. The pradarshan is intended to demonstrate
popular disaffection and the strength of numbers. It moves to the more militant form of protest the dharna or sit down strike. The dharna
aims specifically at stopping economic activities that threaten the survival options of resource dependent communities.
Examples include attempts to stop the work at a dam site or success in Chipko movement. A more sharply focused variant of the
dharna is the gherao where the official or politician is surrounded by protestors and heckled till he accedes to their demands. More
militant is rasta or rail roko which blocks the channels of communication that may not even be directly linked to the object of
disaffection. For example the supporters of the Narmada Bachao Andolan sat for days on the National Highway between Del hi and
Mumbai blocking passenger and commodity traffic. The Gandhian Nationalism or jail bharo andolan lets the protestors deliberat ely
court arrest by violating a law used to prohibit large gatherings. The final technique is bhook hartal or hunger strike to compel the state
to yield in fear.
Environmental action groups in India have thus resorted to these techniques of protext.They are overlapping and complementary.
These have helped to focus public attention on specific natural resource conflicts. Leading environmental activists Sunderlal Bahuguna
and Baba Amte wrote signed articles in newspapers, drawing attention to the struggle they were engaged in. There has been ext ensive
coverage by print media in reporting, interpreting and publicizing nature-based conflicts in modern India. Less visible but equally
significant are the programmes of ecological restoration that various social action groups have undertaken. Many voluntary
organizations have taken it upon themselves to organize villagers in programmes of afforestation,soil and water conservation and
adoption of environmentally sound technologies. Some groups have been influenced by the Gandhian tradition of constructive work
others by religious reform movements and yet others by the example of international relief organizations.
The group that pioneered the Chipko Movement was Dashauli Gram Swarajya Mandal.The one wing of Chipko movement identified
with Sunderlal Bahuguna preferred to connect Himalayan deforestation with national and global environmental concerns the DGSM
under leadership of Chandi Prasad Bhatt has turned from struggle to reconstruction work at the grassroots, They have concentrated
chiefly on afforestation work in the villages of the upper Alakananda valley. They have promoted energy savi ng devices such as fuel
efficient cooking stoves and biogas plants.This example show that reconstruction work can proceed hand in hand with struggle.
Reconstruction work constitutes a valuable front for the environmental movement complementing the activiti es of consciousness
building and popular resistance to the state politics. Various attempts are also made to develop macro-level organization to coordinate
different groups working at different levels and zones.
An influential line of thinking within the state and state agencies is scientific conservation.We can see the work done by B.B Vohra a
senior bureaucrat who was the first to draw public attention to land and water degradation.He noted in his paper ( 1973) that no
countrywide organization or policy to deal with these problems ,nor was there coordination between concerned government
departments.For him the solution lies in the creation of new ministries and departments to deal with problems of environmental
degradation.
State is seen as the ultimate guarantor of environmental protection by many and the formation of Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 ,Forest
Conservation Act of 1980 and Environment Protection Act of 1986 were seen in that direction.
Source: Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha Ecological Conflicts and Environmental Movements in India