Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD) Odisha demands the withdrawal of the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022

Adivasis of Odisha demand the withdrawal of the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022

Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD) Odisha demands the withdrawal of the Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022  Bhubaneswar, 29 July. 2022: CSD Odisha, a coalition of Adivasis and forest dwellers’ organisations, has sent a memorandum to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change raising serious concerns over Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022, notified by the Centre on June 29. Contending that recent amendments and a host of executive orders/guidelines issued by the ministry undermine and dilute the FRA and threaten the rights of Adivasis and forest dwellers, CSD demands that the 2022 FC Rules should be rescinded forthwith. The notification of the FC Rules 2022 is a major assault on the rights of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers and on the forests. It violates the Forest Rights Act by taking away the statutory requirement of seeking consent from the Gram Sabhas before approval of the forest diversions by the MoEF&CC. By doing so, the Central government has abdicated its responsibility to ensure the conservation of forests and check deforestation as well as to ensure the protection of rights of Adivasis and forest dwellers as mandated by the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and the Forest Rights Act. Under FC Rules, 2022. The Central government has now passed on the responsibility to ensure compliance of laws including FRA while issuing the final order which reduces the statutory requirement under the FCA and FRA to a mere formality. So in effect, the Central government would now encourage the State authorities to commit illegalities and violations of forest rights. Furthermore, the FC Rules 2022 propose setting up of land banks in community common lands and revenue forests for allocation of these lands for compensatory afforestation. It also introduces Accredited Compensatory Afforestation, a new scheme where private tree plantations can be treated as readymade afforested areas that can be offered as compensatory afforestation. Both these violate the Forest Rights Act and PESA can severely affect the rights of Adivasis and forest dwellers and can lead to massive conversion of croplands into private commercial plantations. The notification of FC Rules 2022 is clearly targeted to ease…

Dr Debabrata Panda along with Research Scholars at Central University of Odisha

Koraput’s Wild Crops Possess Immense Potential for Nutritional Security & Health Benefits

Wild crop species have nutritional value and health benefits Kolkata, July 8th 2021 (Partho Burman): Many wild plant species, such as wild fruit, leaf, flower and wild tubers, etcetera are used by rural and tribal populations significantly contributing to their livelihood and nutrition security. Did you know the wild crop species used by different tribal people in Koraput, Odisha has nutritional value and health benefits?  “The wild crops are important biodiversity components available from natural habitat, which are neither cultivated nor domesticated. These plants are collected from the forest, for food and medicine by tribal people who developed various processing methods according to their needs,” says Dr Debabrata Panda, an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Biodiversity and Conservation of Natural Resources at the Central University of Odisha, Koraput.  Dr Panda did his research on Agro-biodiversity, Underutilized Plant Species, and Wild Crops. Dr Panda has made significant contributions in the field of collection, evaluation, and characterization of indigenous rice, millet, and other wild crop species found in Koraput.  “There are 122 wild edible plants used by 20 tribal villages in Koraput belonging to seven tribal groups, namely – Paroja, Bhumia, Gadaba, Bhatra, Saora, Gonda, and Kondha. The edible plants include wild fruit (39) species mostly consumed by the tribes compared to leafy vegetables (24), tuber (21) and flower (4),” informs Dr. Panda. The wild edible tubers are largely collected during the winter season whereas the green leaves are collected in the rainy season and fruits and flowers are collected both in the winter and summer seasons. Notably, eight wild yam species are used as food by the tribes. Those are Dioscorea oppositifolia L., D. hamiltonii Hook.f., D. bulbifera L., D. pubera Blume., D. pentaphylla L., D. wallichii Hook.f., D. glabra Roxb and D. hispida Dennst.  When a comparison between the tuber quality traits of wild and cultivated yams was made, it found that the percentage of proximate compositions of wild yam tubers ranged from 3.82-5.42% ash, 1.55-1.90% fat, 1.45-1.60% fibre, 22.9-26.6% carbohydrate, 9.5-10.2% protein and 148-163 kcal gross energy compared to the cultivated (D. alata) species i.e. 3.16% ash, 0.91% fat, 1.40% fibre, 24.07%…