What is the future of India’s forests? Explaining the proposed Forest Conservation Act Amendments

Hosted by Vaishnavi Rathore 
Edited by Manasi Nene

Earlier this month, on October 2nd, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change released a ‘consultative paper’, which recommended 14 amendments to the Forest Conservation Act (FCA) of 1980.

The Act, which was put in place to control deforestation, might now find its power diluted by some of the recent recommendations. They broadly propose to exempt some categories of infrastructure developers from requiring the Central Government’s permission to use forest land for non-forestry purposes. But, confusingly enough, the amendments also signal a huge push for plantations and preserving certain ‘pristine forests’.

So what exactly are these changes? What do they really mean for our forests? How will this impact the many forest-dependent communities of India? We spoke to Meenal Tatpati of the Kalpavriksh Environment Action Group, Manoj Misra, Convenor of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan and Prakash Bhandari of the Himdhara Environment Research and Action Group to understand more.

Vaishnavi, The Bastion's Environment Lead, is interested in covering stories on forest and land rights, ecological restoration, governance of commons, and environmental justice.
Manasi is a writer, filmmaker, and musician who is keen on exploring issues of education, technology and community mental health. She has also been active in the beatboxing and slam poetry communities of India. Off-the-clock, she can be found cycling, daydreaming, or daydreaming about cycling. Manasi works as The Bastion's Multimedia Associate.


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