Strengthening of Joint Forest Management
As per the provisions of National Forest Policy 1988,
the Government of India, vide letter NO.6.21/89-PP dated 1st June, 1990,
outlined and conveyed to State Governments a framework for creating massive peoples
movement through involvement of village committees for the protection, regeneration and
development of degraded forest lands. This gave impetus to the participation of
stakeholders in the management of degraded forests situated in the vicinity of villages.
The joint forest management programme in the country is structured on the broad framework
provided by the guidelines issued by the Ministry. So far, during the last ten years, 27
State Governments have adopted resolutions for implementing the JFM programme in their
respective states. As on 15.8.2001, 14254845.95 ha of forests lands are being managed
under JFM programme through 62890 committees.
programme in the country was reviewed by Government of India from time to time in
consultation with State Governments, NGOs and other stakeholders in view of several
emerging issues. In order to further strengthen the programme, the State Governments may
take action on the following suggested lines.
A) Legal backup to the JFM
i) At present, the JFM
committees are being registered under different names in various States as per the
provisions contained in the resolutions. Except in a few States where the committees are
registered under the relevant acts in most of the states there is no legal back up for
these committees. It is therefore, necessary that all the State Governments register the
JFM or village committees under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 to provide them with
legal back up. This may be completed by 31st March, 2000. Completion of such
formation of existing JFM committees may please be reported to this Ministry.
are different nomenclatures for the JFM committees in different States. It would be better
if these committees are known uniformly as JFM committees (JFMC) in all the states.
Memorandum of Understanding, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for different
work or areas should be separately assigned and signed between the State Governments and
the committees. All adults of the village should be eligible to become members of the JFM
B) Participation of women in the JFM
Considering the immense potential and
genuine need for womens participation in JFM programme, following guidelines are
suggested for ensuring meaningful participation of women in JFM.
50% members of the JFM general body should be women. For the general body meeting, the
presence of atleast 50% women members should be a prerequisit for holding the general body
ii) Atleast 33% of the membership in the JFM
Executive Committee/ Management Committee should be filled from amongst the women members.
The quorum for holding meeting of such Executive/ Management Committee should be one-third
of women executive members or a minimum of one whichever is more. One of the posts of
office bearer i.e. President/ Vice-President/ Secretary should be filled by a women
members of the Committee.
C) Extension of JFM in good
resource planning and collective management distance from the village and dependency on
forests should be the main criteria for allowing JFM programme to operate. Therefore, JFM
programme should cover both the degraded as well as good forests (except the protected
area network). The microplan or treatment plan and memorandum on understanding should be
different for degraded forests and good forests (crown density above 40%). In good forest
areas, the JFM activities would concentrate on NTFP management and no alternation should
be permitted in the basic silvicultural prescription prescribed in the Working Plan but to
promote regeneration, development and sustainable harvesting of NTFP which can be given
free or on concessional rates as per existing practice in degraded areas under JFM. The
benefit sharing mechanism will also be different for the good forest areas. The JFM
committees will be eligible for benefit sharing for timber, only if they have
satisfactorily protected the good forests for a minimum period of at least 10 years and
the sharing percentage should be kept limited to a maximum of 20% of the revenue from the
final harvest. The felling of trees and harvesting of timber will be as per the provisions
of the working plan. A certain percentage of revenue from final harvest should be ploughed
back in the silviculture & management of the forests. The extent of good forest areas
to be allowed will depend upon the number of village household and should be restricted to
a maximum limit of 100 ha and generally limited to 2 km from the village boundary. For
degraded forests also as far as possible JFM should be first concentrated on areas upto 5
km from the village boundary. The implementation of JFM in good forest areas shall be done
in a phased manner on pilot basis. The pilot areas may be monitored closely for a few
years and based on the feedback and success achieved the programme can be extended further
in consultation with the Central Government. Before allowing the good forests on pilot
basis, all the degraded forests of that locality should be covered simultaneously.
D) Preparation of microplan in
i) In case of new working plans a JFM overlapping working
circle should be provided to incorporate broad provisions for micro plans. To achieve this
flexible guidelines should be evolved for preparation of local need based micro plans. For
this purpose, the working plan officer will work in tandem with the territorial DFO and CF
for finalisation of the prescriptions of the JFM overlapping working circle. The micro
plans should be prepared by the Forest Officers and Village Forest Protection Committees
after detailed PRA exercise and should reflect the consumption and livelihood needs of the
local communities as well as provisions for meeting the same sustainably. It should
utilize locally available knowledge as well as aim to strengthen the local institutions.
It should also take into account marketing linkages for better return of NTFPs to the
gatherers and should also reflect the needs of local industries/ markets. This should be
done with due regards to the environmental functions and productive potentials of the
forests and their carrying capacity as also their conservation and biodiversity values.
ii) In areas where the existing working
plans are in force (till their revision in future), for incorporation of micro plans in
the working plans, a special order may be issued by the PCCFs for implementation of the
microplan. In these areas, micro plan should aim at ensuring a multi product and more NTFP
oriented approach. Without changing the basic principles of silviculture, deviations may
be approved in the existing working plans if necessary. To ensure this, the concerned DFO
and CF should dovetail the requirements of micro plans with the working plans.
iii) The micro plan should also take
into consideration and provide suitable advice for areas planted/ to be planted on
community lands and other Government lands outside the notified forest areas including in
the district council areas of North East.
Ecodevelopment under micro plan should form a separate entity for funding it through
E) Conflict resolution
In order to
resolve conflicts in the functioning of JFM committees and to maintain harmony among
different groups participating in the JFM, State Governments may constitute divisional and
state level representative forums or working groups. This forum/ group should include
representatives from all the stakeholders including NGOs. The model prescribed by the
Andhra Pradesh Government for this purpose is a case in point for consideration.
F) Recognition of Self-initiated groups
groups in many places in Orissa, Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are
performing the essential functions of forest protection and regeneration. These groups
need to be identified, recognized and registered as JFM Committees after proper
verification of records and enquiry. The period of their existence and duties performed
for protection and regeneration should be suitable assessed and proper weightage given to
them for deriving benefits under the JFM programme.
G) Contribution for
Regeneration of Resoruces:
For long term
sustainability of resources, it is essential that a mechanism is created for ploughing
back a certain percentage of the revenue earned from final harvest. For this purpose, no
less than 25% of the share of village community should be deposited in the village
development fund for meeting the conservation and development from its share of such
sales. There should be transparent mechanisms for computation of income for sharing the
benefits between different stakeholders.
H) Monitoring and Evaluation
monitoring of progress and performance of this programme should be undertaken at Division
and State Level. Evaluation of the programme should be planned at an interval of 3 years
and 5 years at Division and State level respectively.
Copy for information and necessary
Chief Conservator of Forests/ Chief Conservator of Forests (All States/ UTs)
Secretary, national Afforestation and Eco-Development Board, Ministry of Environment and
Forests, New Delhi.
National Wasteland Development Board, Ministry of Rural Development, New Delhi.
Conservator of Forests (Central) of all Regional Offices located at Bhubaneshwar,
Bangalore, Bhopal, Shillong, Locknow, Chandigarh.
ICFRE, Dehra Dun.
Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy, Dehra Dun.
Forest Survey of India, Dehra Dun.
Forest Education, Dehra Dun.
Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun.
officers of the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Head, JFM cell
Ministry of environment and forest, Government Of India
Paryavaran Bhawan,CGO Complex
Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003
Telefax : 0114360379
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Anup Upadhyay
Senior Assistant Inspector General of Forests
Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India
Paryavaran Bhawan,CGO Complex
Lodi Road, New Delhi-110003
Ph : 011436 0379/1613/1760