Legal Land Theft

The ‘conservation’ model in India continues to enclose forests and evict communities in a deliberate attempt to undermine and scuttle the Forest Rights Act (FRA) - a landmark legislation that strengthens the authority of communities over their forests. Meanwhile, companies are allowed to destroy forests, even inside the conservation areas.

WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.

Funds from the Compensatory Afforestation scheme have been allocated for Covid-19 relief measures. The scheme has funded plantations that invade community land and has led to illegal evictions where “Protected Areas” have been declared. This has not stopped during the lockdown.

This study looks at how Compensatory Afforestation is accelerating both, the destruction of forests in India by big corporations and the appropriation of community land for the supposed compensation.

Village assemblies in Korchi, along with resistance against mining, are actively engaged in reimagining and reconstructing local governance. Women’s collectives have also started to assert their voice in these emerging decision-making spaces. (Available in Swahili).

India’s programme to compensate for the destruction of forests for development projects is routinely setting up monoculture tree plantations on community commons. Women, who are mostly affected, are at the centre of its resistance.