Chenab River

Civil Society Groups slam Draft Forest Policy

Himachal Groups endorse the demand to withdraw current draft

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) came out with a Draft National Forest Policy, for which they had comments and suggestions from concerned citizens this month. Hundreds of civil society, forest rights and environmental groups have slammed the draft on various grounds the strongest being the thrust on ‘production forestry’ and allowing entry of private companies in forestry projects. The groups have said that while there may be a need to review the old policy of 1988, this draft undoes some very important principles that the 88 policy had put in place especially related to protection of forests and the importance of strengthening forest dependent communities and their role in this regard. This policy also will pose a threat to the implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006 if read along with the earlier legislation called CAMPA which provides funds to the forest department for plantation and afforestation activities diluting the role of the Gram Sabhas under FRA 2006. Himachal Van Adhikar Manch a platform of state level groups has also condemned the draft and said that facilitating the entry of the private sector through the backdoor using the policy is highly condemn able.

To read the full submission go to


On 10th April several activists, environmentalists and organisations also took to storming twitter to object to the policy. Below are some of the tweets which highlight the key problems in the current draft.

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Here are some very important articles on the issue




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