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Round Table on Forest Rights Act: 12 Nov. 2019

Round Table on `The Strengthening of the Panchayaths in Kerala for the Effective Implementation of the Forest Rights Act’

A round table on `The Strengthening of the Panchayaths in Kerala for the Effective Implementation of the Forest Rights Act’ was held at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) on 12 November, 2019. This was organised jointly by the CDS (RULSG Unit) and the Azim Premji University.

This is the culmination of a series of consultations with different stakeholders for this purpose in June and July this year. Meetings were held with community leaders, elected representatives of Panchayaths, government officials, NGO functionaries, and so on. A number of hurdles and practical challenges in the implementation of FRA in Kerala are identified through this purpose.

The round table was attended by political leaders including Binoy Viswam, Kutty Ahmed Kutty, C P Narayanan, and P Geethanandan, tribal community leaders, officials of forest, tribal welfare, and local self-government departments, NGO functionaries and academics. The experience of FRA implementation in Western Maharashtra was also shared by a representative from there.  There were discussions on the adequacy of the provisions of the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act for the effective implementation of the FRA. The discussions brought out the importance of facilitated implementation of the FRA in selected hamlets of Kerala by bringing together all relevant stakeholders, and using these as models for the large scale implementation.