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Tue23Sep2014

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India's forests as carbon sinks

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

The Indian state has always looked at forests as a source of never-ending revenues. Now, in the context of climate change negotiations, our forests are being looked on as carbon sinks that could be worth a staggering USD 120 billion

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What difference has the Forest Rights Act made?

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

With a strong community forest management network in place, one would think that forest-dependent communities in Orissa would be upbeat about the Forest Rights Act. But even as people’s movements begin to use the Act as a weapon in their struggle, most communities are confused about the scope of the Act and the processes to be used to file community claims to forests

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Destroyed by 'development'

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

The onslaught on Orissa’s forests began with the Hirakud dam, Rourkela steel plant, Mandira dam, the Upper Indravati hydroelectric project. Three million forest-dwellers in Orissa are estimated to have been displaced since Independence; most have vanished without a trace. Now it’s the mining leases that are destroying these forests. But local communities are no longer silent about this ‘development’

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'The protectors are thieves in disguise'

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

In village after village in Orissa, people complain that joint forestry management, which mandates the setting up of a Van Suraksha Samiti headed by a forest official, only ensures that money-power and corruption destroy the forests communities have been managing so successfully

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Trees first

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

Communities throughout Orissa have been regenerating and protecting their forests since the beginning of the 20th century. Today, around 17,000 village forest protection committees in roughly 19,000 villages protect 2 million hectares of forests. That means that over a third of Orissa’s total forest area is now under community control even though ‘legally’ it is state property

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The taming of the wilds

By Subrat Kumar Sahu

The first of a series on community forestry initiatives in Orissa, researched as part of the Infochange Media Fellowship 2009, discusses how India’s forests came to be controlled and owned by the state after 1855, placing the state in perpetual conflict with forest-dependent communities

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