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What are community forest rights?

GS Paper 3:

Syllabus: Environment and Conservation Related issues.



The Chhattisgarh government has become only the second state in the country to recognise Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights of a village inside a national park.

  • The CFR rights of tribals living in Gudiyapadar, a hamlet inside the Kanger Ghati National Park in Bastar district, were recognised, giving the community power to formulate rules for forest use.


What is a community forest resource?

  • It is the common forest land that has been traditionally protected and conserved for sustainable use by a particular community.
  • The community uses it to access resources available within the traditional and customary boundary of the village; and for seasonal use of landscape in case of pastoralist communities.


Community Forest Resource rights:

These rights are recognised under Section 3(1)(i) of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (commonly referred to as the Forest Rights Act or the FRA).

  • They provide for recognition of the right to “protect, regenerate or conserve or manage” the community forest resource.
  • These rights allow the community to formulate rules for forest use by itself and others and thereby discharge its responsibilities under Section 5 of the FRA.


Significance of these rights and their recognition:

  • CFR rights, along with Community Rights (CRs) which include nistar rights and rights over non-timber forest products, ensure sustainable livelihoods of the community.
  • These rights give the authority to the Gram Sabha to adopt local traditional practices of forest conservation and management within the community forest resource boundary.
  • It also underlines the integral role that forest dwellers play in sustainability of forests and in conservation of biodiversity.



Know more about the Forest Rights Act here.


Insta Curious:

Did you know that in 2016, the Odisha government was the first to recognise Community Forest Resources (CFRs) inside the Simplipal National Park?



Prelims Link:

  1. Who can include or exclude areas under 5th schedule?
  2. What are scheduled areas?
  3. Forest Rights Act- key provisions.

Mains Link:

Claims for tenure under the Forest Rights Act must satisfy the needs of the forest dwellers as well as the environment. Critically analyze.


Q.5) Community Forest Resource rights in India have been recognised under:

  1. The Forest Rights Act.
  2. The Constitution of India.
  3. Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Choose the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 only.
  2. 2 and 3 only.
  3. 3 only.
  4. All of the above. 

Sources: Indian Express.