SITANADI-UDANTI TIGER RESERVE: CHHATTISGARH
- Thousands of tribals living in villages located in the core areas of SitanadiUdanti Tiger Reserve are protesting and demanding the recognition of their Community Forest Resource rights.
- Community Forest Resource (CFR) rights are given under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA).
- The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.
Provisions of the Forest Rights Act (FRA):
- The Forest Rights Act (FRA) 2006 recognizes and vest the forest rights and occupation in Forest land in Forest Dwelling Scheduled Tribes (FDST) and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) who have been residing in such forests for generations.
- It strengthens the conservation regime of the forests while ensuring livelihood and food security of the FDST and OTFD.
- The Gram Sabha is the authority to initiate the process for determining the nature and extent of Individual Forest Rights (IFR) or Community ForestRights (CFR) or both that may be given to FDST and OTFD.
- Individual Rights: Encompasses Rights of Self-cultivation and Habitation. Community Rights: Such as Grazing, Fishing and access to Water bodies in forests, Habitat Rights for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), right to protect, regenerate or conserve or manage any community forest resource for sustainable use etc.
- Community Forest Resource Rights: These are rights of Adivasi and OTFDs over customary common forest land within the traditional or customary boundaries of the village or seasonal use of landscape in the case of pastoral communities.
These can be recognised over any forest land including reserved forests, protected forests and protected areas such as Sanctuaries and National Park.
Sitanadi-Udanti Tiger Reserve:
- Sitanadi-Udanti Tiger Reserve came into existence in the year 2008-09, are two separate reserves (Udanti&Sitanadi Wildlife Sanctuaries) combined together.
- It is located in the Gariaband district, Chhattisgarh.
- It contains various types of forest crop mixed with Sal forest.
- Asiatic Wild Buffalo is the key endangered species found in the Core Area.
- Apart from the tiger, other endangered and rare species are Indian Wolf,
- Leopard, Sloth Bear and Mouse Deer.
- Sitanadi River originates in the middle of Sitanadi Wildlife sanctuary.
- Udanti River flows from the west to east covering a major part of the UdantiWildlife sanctuary.
Other Tiger Reserves in Chhattisgarh:
- Achanakmar Tiger Reserve.
- Indravati Tiger Reserve.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,DTE