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VASUNDHARA - Democratising Natural Resources Governance

Conversion of Forest Villages into Revenue Villages:

After 68 years after Independence, residents of forest villages, unsurveyed villages and other such settlements in forests remain deprived of access to most development programmes due to the land on which these are located continuing to be recorded as ‘forest’ which are never been converted and settle as revenue villages. Presently 2,474 forest villages. As no agency other than forest departments can undertake any development work on forest land, most of these settlements remain outside the jurisdiction of any local government, and their residents in some states cannot obtain even domicile certificates (as only the revenue department can issue these, but it does not have jurisdiction over forest land) or even voting rights. Due to their residents lacking any legal rights over the land, they are treated like ‘non-citizens’ ever vulnerable to eviction or displacement without entitlement to compensation or rehabilitation. The Forest Rights Act recognizes the rights of these villages living and depending in and around the forest as well as provides the scope for conversion of such villages into revenue villages.  

Our team work on research and documentation of the forest villages in Odisha to create a knowledge base for other stakeholders like CSOs, Administration and Other such interest groups. We provide extend technical support to them based on our learning through working with communities living in such villages and facilitating the process of conversion and recognition. We also work with the state to support them in developing effective framework for implementation. Our team works on developing learning materials for the facilitators and communities to help them to carry out the process on ground.  



Democracy, Equity, Social Justice and Ethical Development

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