READY

 

INFORMATION BOOKLET PREPARED FOR FULFILLMENT OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005.

* * *

Chapter – 1

Introduction

Background :

In order to bring transparency on the day-to-day happenings of the Forest Department, the Forest Department of Andhra Pradesh intends to bring a hand book on the activities of the department for the dissemination to the public on the Key issues.

 

 

This Handbook in general discloses about the aims and objectives of the department, the duties and responsibilities of the Forest Department employees, the services rendered by the department to the public.

 

 

Citizens, Civil society organizations, public representatives, officers and employees of public authorities including Public information Officers and Assistant Public Information Officers and Appellate Officers, Central and State Information Commissions etc.,

 

 

C.F = Conservator of Forests,

D.F.O = Divisional Forest Officer,

F.R.O = Forest Range Officer,

A.P.I.O = Assistant Public Information Officer,

P.I.O = Public Information Officer,

C.C.F = Chief Conservator of Forests,

Addl.P.C.C.F = Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests,

P.C.C.F = Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

 

 

 

Page 1

Introduction

Page 2

Organization, Functions and Duties.

Page 3

Powers and duties of Forest Officers.

Page 10

Procedure followed in the decision making process including channels of supervision and accountability.

Page 11

Citizen Charter of Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.

Page 13

Availability of Information

Page 16

Rules, Regulations etc.,

Page 19

Arrangement for consultation or presentation by the members of the public in relation to formulation of policy or implementation thereof.

Page 21

Whether meetings of the boards, committees open to public.

Page 21

Directory of officers and staff.

Page 23

Monthly remuneration received by officers and staff.

Page 24

The budget allocations under different schemes.

Page 24

Particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorizations.

Page 24

Information in Electronic Forms.

Page 24

Facilities available to citizens for obtaining information.

Page 24

Publications

Page 24

Museums

Page 24

Training facilities.

Page 25

State Forest Policy

Page 34

Community Forest Management.

 

 

Sources – Assistant Public Information Officer,

Public Information Officer.

 

The concerned person intending to elicit information can apply in a letter form with a fee tag as prescribed by the Act .

 

1.7 Name and address of Key contact persons.

 

Assistant Public Information Officer :

 

Name : Sri V. Srinivas Rao ,

Designation : Junior Assistant, A. P. Hyderabad .

Telephone No : 9247297991

 

Public Information Officer :

 

Name : Sri Anil Kumar ,

Designation : Superintendent, A.P. Hyderabad.

Telephone No : 9848202438

 

Appellate Authority :

 

Name : Sri A. Sudhakar , IFS, Curator,

Designation : Nehru Zoological Park, A.P. Hyderabad

Telephone : 9440810162

 

 

 

The Andhra Pradesh Forest Department looks after the forest areas in the State of Andhra Pradesh . The Department protects conserves and maintains the forests.

 

The hierarchy in the Department is as follows:

 

Range – A range is the basic unit of functioning in the Forest Department and the Forest Range Officer in-charge of the Range executes the different works and performs such other duties as may be assigned. For administrative convenience, a range is divided into Sections and Beats looked after by Forest Section Officer and Forest Beat Officer/Assistant Forest Beat Officer respectively.

 

Division – Few ranges constitute a Division which is headed by a Divisional Forest Officer. The Divisional Forest Officer can be from State Service (SFS) or from Indian Forest Service (IFS).

 

Circle – Few Divisions constitute a Circle which is headed by a Conservator of Forests. The Conservator of Forests is from IFS only.

 

Head Office – All the Forest Circles are under the control of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests who is Head of the Department.

 

The instructions/orders from Government are issued to the Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests who in turn communicates them to the Conservators of Forests. The Conservators of Forests communicate these instructions/orders to his Divisional Forest Officers. And the Divisional Forest Officers in turn may communicate to the Forest Range Officers if the subject matter requires so.

 

Any representation/application can be submitted to concerned Forest Range Officer or Divisional Forest Officer. If the application requires orders from Conservator of Forests or Chief Conservator of Forests, the same will be submitted through a report to the superior officers.

 

 

 


CHAPTER – XI OF A.P.FOREST DEPT.CODE

DUTIES OF FOREST OFFICERS

148. General

 

The duty of Forest Officer is to manage the forests under his control consistent with the objects of managements in each case. He has to attend to various works connected with the protection and improvement of the forests, propagation of trees and production of forest produce as well as its utilization and marketing. He must have a thorough knowledge of the climatic, edaphic and biotic factors influencing the state of forests, the distribution of forests and their classification and type. He must be able to identify the different kind of trees in his forests, and must know the uses to which each can be put and the localities where they are best adopted. He must be able to manage forest nurseries and know how to plant tree and when and how to sow seeds and when and where one is preferable to the other. He must know what wild animals and birds are available, how they should be protected and what law and rule govern the shooting or capturing of wild animals and birds. He must know procedure and accounting in the forest Department.

 

149. Addl. PCCF/Chief Conservator Of Forests:

 

The Addl. PCCF/Chief Conservator of Forests would assist the Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests, in his technical and administrative work. The subject to the Addl. PCCF/Chief Conservator of Forests would be allotted, as per discretion of Prl.Chief Conservator of forests / Government. All correspondence of the Department addressed to the Government relating to policy matters shall pass through Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests or emanate from him, after discussing with the Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests / the Chief Conservator of Forests and other officers.

 

The Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests / Chief Conservator of Forests will make tours as per programme approved by Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests. During these tours, they will inspect important forests woks, with particular reference to his subjects dealt by them besides inspecting important developmental programmes under progress and render assistance to field officers. They would be also required to carry out any specific duties assigned to them by Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests.

 

150. Conservator of Forests:

 

 

 

 

 

 

151. Divisional Forest Officer:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The administration of Forest Department is generally carried out as prescribed by the Forest Department Code.

 

The following Acts and Rules are implemented by Forest Department:

 

The Forest laws that are applicable throughout India are:

  1. The Indian Forest Act, 1927
  2. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
  3. The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

As the subject of ‘forest’ is in concurrent list of subjects mentioned in Constitution of India, the different States have made their own State laws which are not in conflict with the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

 

The Indian Forest Act 1927 broadly categorizes the forest has reserve forest, village forest, protected forest and non Government forest. The Government may declare any forest land or waste land as reserve forest by following the prescribe procedure. The Government may assign to any village community its right or any reserve forest and after such assignment the forest shall be village forest. Protected forests are constituted by including any forest land or waste land over which Government has proprietary rights. The Government may control the forest and land not being the property of the Government when such land is required for protection against natural calamities, protection of goods etc., the Act provides for imposing duty on timber and other forest produce. It also enables the Government to regulate the transport of timber and other forest produce. It also deals with collection of drift and standard timber. The properties seized are liable to confiscation after due enquiry. The Act empowers the forest officers to implement the provisions of the Act and also gives powers to compel the attendance of the witnesses, record evidence and arrest without a warrant.

 

In Andhra Pradesh the following enactments are in force:

  1. The Andhra Pradesh Forest Act, 1967
  2. The Andhra Pradesh Minor Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) Act, 1971
  3. The Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Areas Minor Forest Produce (Regulation of Trade) Regulation, 1979
  4. The Andhra Pradesh Forest Produce (Fixation of Selling Prices) Act, 1989.

The other enactments mentioned above are implemented by promulgation of different Rules as mentioned below:

 

1. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

    1. The Wildlife (Stock Declaration) Rules, 1973
    2. The Wildlife (Transactions and Taxidermy) Rules, 1973
    3. The Wildlife (Protection) Licensing (additional Matters for Consideration) Rules, 1983
    4. Recognition of zoo Rules, 1992
    5. The Wildlife (Protection) Rules, 1995
    6. The Wildlife (Specified plants- Conditions for possession by licensee) Rules, 1995
    7. The Wildlife (Specified Plants Stock Declaration) Central Rules, 1995.

 

The Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2003.

Transit Rules, 1969.

(Prosecution) Rules, 1969.

1970.

produce) Rules, 1977.

1978.

1989.

Rules, 1989.

public premises) Rules, 1989.

Rules, 1992.

 

 

The Andhra Pradesh Minor Forest Produce (Regulation of trade in Abnus leaves) Rules, 1970.

 

 

The Andhra Pradesh Forest Produce (Fixation of Selling Prices) Rules, 1991.

 

 

The Forest Department has permanent records relating to the reservation of Forest Blocks and Gazette Notifications in respect of Reserve Forests, Protected Forests and relating to Blocks notified under Section 4 of the A.P. Forest Act.

 

The lease agreements relating to Minor Forest Produce and Bamboo are also available. The lease agreement relating to Bamboo allotment to Paper Mills is entered into by Head Office and all other agreements are generally entered into by Divisional Forest Officer concerned.

 

The offence case records are maintained in Forest Range Offices and Division offices.

 

The Service Records are maintained at Division office, Circle office and Head Office depending upon the working of executive and ministerial staff in the concerned units. The Service Records of Indian Forest Service officers are maintained by Pay and Accounts officer, Hyderabad and cadre management is done by the General Administration of the State Government.

 

The details of timber sales are available in the concerned timber depots and logging division offices.

 

 

The following advisory bodies are functioning in the Department.

 

 

For 2006 season, necessary proposals were submitted to Government for constitution of advisory Committee vide Principal Chief Conservator of Forests rc.No.2385/05-M.1 (STC) dated 01.10.2005.

 

 

The Government vide G.O.Ms.No.142, E.F.S.&.T (For.III) Department, dated 23.12.2004 have constituted the Pricing Committee for the year 2004-2005 for fixation of rates for certain items of forest produce.

 

 

Constitution of State Board for Wild Life: -

(1) The State Government shall, within a period of six months from the date of commencement of the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002 constitute a State Board for Wild Life consisting of the following members, namely: -

 

 

(2) The term of office of the members other than those who are member ex officio and the manner of filling vacancies referred to in clauses (d) and (e) of sub-section (1) and procedure to be followed shall be such, as may be prescribed.

 

(3) The member (except members ex officio) shall be entitled to receive such allowances in respect of expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as may be prescribed.]

 

Procedure to be followed by the Board:-

 

(1) The Board shall meet at least twice a year at such place at the State Government may direct.

 

(2) The Board shall regulate its own procedure (including the quorum).

 

(3) No act or proceeding of the Board shall be invalid merely by reason of the existence of any vacancy therein or any defect in the Constitution thereof or any irregularity in the procedure of the Board not affecting the merits of the case.

 

Duties of Wild Life Advisory Board:-

 

It shall be the duty of [State Board for Wild Life] to advice the State Government, -

 

harmonizing the needs of the tribals and other

dwellers of the forest with the protection and

Conservation of Wild Life; and

Wild life which may be referred to it by the State

Government.

 

 

 

The deliberations of the Board and the minutes of meeting are not generally open to public.

 

 

10. MONTHLY REMUNERATION RECEIVED BY OFFICERS &

STAFF:

 

The amount of pay received by IFS Officers is available in IFS Civil Lists placed in Web Site www.ap.nic.in/apforest

 

The pay and allowances of other staff members as per the recommendation of PRC.

 

11. THE BUDGET ALLOCATIONS UNDER DIFFERENT SCHEMES:

 

Budget Plan

&

Budget_Non_Plan

 

12. MANNER OF EXECUTION OF SUBSIDY PROGRAMMES:

 

There are no subsidy programmes under implementation by the Department.

13. PARTICULARS OF RECEPIENTS OF CONCESSIONS,

PERMITS OR AUTHORIZATIONS:

 

The Pricing Committee determines the qu antum of concession to different categories of forest produce.

 

14. INFORMATION IN ELECTRONIC FORM:

 

The Forest Department maintains a web-site www.forest.ap.nic.inwhich gives detailed information on various subjects. The site also provides the key contacts for obtaining further information.

 

15. FACILITIES AVAILABLE TO CITIZENS FOR

OBTAINING INFORMATION:

Under Section 5 (1) of the Act, Chief Accounts Officer isdesignated as Public Information Officer in PCCF Office level to facilitate furnishing of information to public.

 

Gazetted Assistant (Technical) was designated as Asst. Public Information Officer in PCCF Office level to facilitate furnishing of information to public.

 

Asst. Chief Conservator of Forests (Estt / Chief Conservator of Forests (Estt`) is the appellate authority.

 

The web-site of the Department also provides for dissemination of information.

 

16. PUBLICATIONS:

The Forest Department prepares Annual Administration Report

and Facts & Figures which give details of various activities

taken up by the Department including the statistical data.

 

17. MUSEUMS:

 

The Forest Department has a Wild Life Museum in the premises of Nehru Zoological Park , Hyderabad .

18. TRAINING FACILITIES:

 

The A.P. Forest Academy , Dulapally conducts various courses for in service officers and members of Vana Samrakshana Samithis (VSS).

 

19. STATE FOREST POLICY

 

GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH

ABSTRACT

 

Forest Department - Policy for Forest Development in Andhra Pradesh - Approved - Orders - Issued.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENT FORESTS SCIENCE& TECHNOLOGY(FOR.III)DEPARTMENT

 

G.O.Ms.No. 34 . Dated: 16th April,2002

Read the following:-

 

1. G.O.Ms.No.237, EFS&T(For.II) Deptt., dt.26.11.1993

2. From Prl.CCF., Rc.No.30931/2001/PMU.III/2, dt.2.1.2002 and

dt. 8.3.2002.

***

O R D E R: -

Government has been implementing various programmes and schemes relating to forest development in accordance with the National Forest Policy. In the G.O. read above, Policy for forest development in the State has been stated out. With new experiences gained in the subsequent years it is felt that there is a need to review this Policy to tune it with the current times. The Prl.Chief Conservator of Forests has accordingly therefore submitted proposals for revision of the policy issued in the Government order read above. Among other things, the Prl.Chief Conservator of Forests has requested for issue of orders for implementing Community Forest Management as an advancement over Joint Forest Management in terms of greater decentralization and democratization of people’s participation in forest management and associated Policy changes.

2. After considering various aspects of Forestry Management in the State of Andhra Pradesh and also the National Forest Policy, the Government approves the “Andhra Pradesh State Forest Policy 2002” as detailed in Annexure to this order.

3. The Prl.Chief Conservator of Forests, Andhra Pradesh , Hyderabad is requested to take further action accordingly.

 

(BY ORDER AND IN THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR OF ANDHRA PRADESH)

 

H.S.BRAHMA

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

 

To

The Prl.Chief Conservator of Forests, AP, Hyd.

The Vice-Chairman & Managing Director,

A.P. Forest Development Corporation Ltd., Hyd.

Copy to: -

All Collectors.

Sf/Sc.

// FORWARDED:: BY ORDER //

 

SECTION OFFICER.

Andhra Pradesh State Forest Policy, 2002”

 

1. Background:

 

1.1: The National Forest Policy of 1988 of the Government of India lays down the guiding principles for Forest Management in India . In consonance with this National Forest Policy, the Government of Andhra Pradesh issued a State Forest Policy in 1993 vide G.O.Ms.No.237 EFS&T (For.II) Department, Dated 26.11.1993. This forest policy of the State of Andhra Pradesh , while identifying the immediate concerns of the forestry sector in the State, laid down broad guidelines for future management perspectives by encouraging participation of local village communities in forest management through Joint Forest Management by organizing them into Vana Samrakshana Samithies. The experience of involving local villagers in protection and management of forests has had salutary effects and there is appreciable improvement in the quality of forests managed through Joint Forest Management. The initiative has, however, brought in a new angle of sustainability of forest management through people’s participation into lime light. Balancing the sustainable management of forest resources with economic, social and environmental factors has emerged as a key challenge that needs immediate attention. This has necessitated a review of the present policy of the State of Andhra Pradesh on matters relating to Forest Development. Learning from the experience, the Government of Andhra Pradesh intends to consolidate the initiatives taken in the area of Joint Forest Management and evolve the system further into Community Forest Management.

 

2. The Vision:

 

2.1: The National Forestry Action Plan envisages the following approaches for holistic development of forests:

 

 

2.2: All planning in forestry sector in India is required to follow these cardinal principles. Forest Policy of Andhra Pradesh needs to be tailored to incorporate the above framework. The Government of Andhra Pradesh has issued a Vision statement titled ‘Vision 2020’ which also incorporates the vision envisaged for the forestry sector. The focal theme of the vision on State Forestry Sector is ‘sustainable management of forest resources through participatory approach’, with emphasis on the protection and regeneration of forests and forestland to ensure a green and healthy Andhra Pradesh for the future generations. Managing forest resources effectively is a critical component of protecting the environment since the degradation of forests gives rise to serious problems such as floods, famine and drought. For achieving this goal, and enhancing the long-term sustained development of the State, the following core areas are identified:

 

 

2.3: The strategies evolved are in tune with the National Forestry Action Plan and vision of state of A.P. They specifically address the various focused areas of forestry and provide direction for future planning and development.

 

3. The Strategies:

 

To realize the above Vision, the following strategies will be adopted.

 

3.1. Conserving and improving the existing Forests:

 

3.1.1. Forest Felling:

 

With high demand for timber and other forest products, forests are prone to illicit felling and smuggling. The problem is acute since forests are open treasure houses. Protection of the existing forests is a matter of primary concern around which all the other activities will be woven. Protection of forests will be ensured through regular patrolling and policing and strict vigil in the vulnerable forest areas and meticulous implementation of the penal provisions of various forest laws and rules. Training in law enforcement aspects will be taken up to upgrade the capacity of the law enforcing staff of the Forest Department. There also is urgent need to tap alternate energy sources to ease pressure on forests. Solar energy devises will be encouraged. In areas beset with vast herds of cattle, especially in rural areas, biogas plants will be popularized. The State Government has taken the initiative of supplying LP Gas connections to all Self Help Groups, including VSS through its Deepam Scheme. These needs will be extended further to other eligible persons. Wherever use of wood is inevitable, improved chulhas will be popularized. Such chulhas would not only reduce use of wood, but also reduce harmful smoke which affects the health of women and children at home.

 

3.1.2. Grazing:

 

The present policy of free grazing in the forests is detrimental to regeneration and establishment of vegetation. There is need for reasonable restrictions on grazing. Further, the burden of scrub cattle on the already scarce fodder resources need to be reduced by upgrading the cattle stock, and encouraging stall- feeding. Scientific study of the availability of fodder, both inside and outside forests and plans for sustained usage without threatening the very survival of the species, needs to be taken up. Augmenting the fodder resources through natural as well as artificial regeneration should be taken up. All these will receive attention. There will be coordinated efforts with the Animal Husbandry Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh to (i) improve quality of livestock in forest fringe areas so that number of cattle heads will be reduced and (ii) to augment fodder resources both inside and outside the designated forests to cater to growing demand for fodder. Scientific research will be undertaken to assess the carrying capacity of the fringe forest areas. A separate policy statement to address the above will be issued after deliberating with stakeholders.

 

3.1.3. Forest Fires:

 

Forest fires have been the scourge forests especially the young regeneration. Their frequency and extent of damage caused are a matter of great concern. They affect the quality and composition of our future forests. Wanton kindling of forests for encouraging new flush of grasses, and for clearing the forest floor for cultivation, etc. are rampant in forest areas. Traditional and time tested fire protection measures like fire tracing, engaging of fire watchers, during the dry season will be taken up together with the maintenance of fire-lines and controlled burning in vulnerable areas as preventive measures. Special attention will be given to regeneration areas and research plots in this regard. Co-operation of all stakeholders in such efforts is very essential. Therefore, large-scale awareness by publicity/propaganda will be taken up during the fire prone season. The fire protection may be entrusted to the local VSS members.

 


3.1.4. Encroachments and Podu Cultivation:

 

Due to excessive pressure on land, and forest boundaries not being clear in several areas, encroachment of the forests has been increasing. Therefore, clear demarcation of all the forest boundaries, is essential combined with punitive action in all such cases of encroachment.

 

“Podu”, the traditional shifting cultivation by Tribals, is transforming into settled cultivation. This is creating pockets of clearances which will expand in area in time. Such type of cultivation is resulting in land degradation and unsustainable agriculture leading to poverty and increasing demand for land again for further cultivation. The problem of Podu cultivation is to be viewed more as an economic problem and not just as a matter of law. It is a matter of livelihood for the people who practice it. But since its unsustainable nature is perpetuating poverty, there is an urgent need to educate the tribal farmers on sustainable farming. Therefore the tribals who resort to such type of unsustainable practices will be educated about the adverse effects and motivated to take up viable alternate land use practices on such lands, besides alternative income generating activities. Access to improved agricultural practices for these Tribals needs to be made available. This will be ensured through close coordination with the Agriculture and Tribal Welfare Departments of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.

 

3.1.5. Appropriate silvicultural interventions for forest improvement:

 

Excessive and prolonged pressure on the forests in the past have created large blank areas in the forests. . The inferior stock of vegetation wherever it occurs, needs to be improved by coppicing, singling / pruning and removal of congestion around useful regeneration. The wide gaps need to be covered up by artificial regeneration with improved planting stock or sowing with good quality seed, especially of fodder and medicinal plants. The management of natural regeneration will be practiced in forest areas rich in natural regeneration, in forests with viable rootstock of valuable species and in forests having timber potential. All these forests will be managed under the selection cum improvement system, the coppice with standards and the coppice with reserves systems with due modifications to suit site specific requirements. Forests that are devoid of any valuable species will be planted with valuable and high yielding species like Bamboo, Teak, Eucalyptus, Acacias, Species valued for their NTFP and Medicinal properties.

 

3.1.6. Soil and Moisture Conservation Measures on watershed approach:

 

Massive Soil and Moisture Conservation activities will be taken up. Such measures will form an integral part of all treatment plans at macro as well as micro level. They will also be integrated with the general watershed development activities of other Governmental and Non Governmental agencies working in the vicinity of forests to ensure holistic development. This would help in arresting soil erosion, besides recharging of ground water in the catchment. Such steps would ensure prevention of floods, droughts in the adjacent plains, besides benefiting the vegetation and wildlife in the forest areas. Integrated development of all natural resources, including forests would rationalize inputs and maximize outputs.

 

3.2. Strengthening Social Forestry Activities:

 

3.2.1. Scope for Social Forestry:

 

Extending forestry activities to non-traditional areas outside notified forests will be another important strategy. It provides for generation of biomass outside the designated forests for meeting the needs of local people and reduces dependence and pressure on the forests. The activities like Farm Forestry, Afforestation of Village Common lands and Tank Foreshores, Afforestation around urban agglomerations in the form of Green Belts, Avenue plantations along Roads, Railway lines and Canal Bunds, Aesthetic plantations in urban and semi urban areas, Afforestation on Temple / Endowment lands etc. will be taken up to meet the objective.

3.3. Streamlining Forest Management Strategies:

 

 

Apart from the traditional functions of Forest Protection and Development, the Department is vested with new functions like Participatory Management, contending with organized and armed smugglers, Wildlife Management, Extension work under Social Forestry, Research and Development, Training and Motivating etc. This multi dimensional role is posing a serious challenge to the Forester of the present day. The Centralized and hierarchical structure of the Department is constraining effective discharge of these functions. Vacancies in staff entrusted with protection, inadequacy of their technical knowledge, lack of adequate facilities like conveyance and communication at the lower levels, also affect the efficiency of the administrative machinery. Therefore, there is an urgent need to address these issues. More decentralization, with delegation of more administration/financial powers, administrative reforms, reorganization of forest areas, and redeployment of staff as per emerging needs, providing adequate skills, and equipment to the lower staff, etc are some of the critical areas that will be attended to.

 

 

Scientific study on the responses of various silvicultural systems of managements and results of treatment practices is needed for standardization of treatment practices for each area. Identifying and developing high yielding varieties of multipurpose species and standardizing afforestation and management techniques for them will be attended to. Existing Research Plans will be updated not only to meet the current needs but also future demands. Besides strengthening the existing Regional Research Centers, a few more such centers will be established for accessibility to all areas of the state. Such a step would ensure transfer of technology from lab to land.

 

 

The tendency of attempting too many aspects of Forestry Development with too few resources has been the bane of Forest Department. There is a need to augment the financial resources for forestry sector, by not only with more budgetary allocations, but also by reinvestment of certain portion of its income. Also, more stakeholders like the local communities, private enterprise, industrial investment needs to be identified and encouraged with suitable safeguards against diversion of forest land. Creation of revolving funds, levying user charges and recycling revenue for forest development are the areas that will be focused in this regard.

 

 

Monitoring and evaluation in Forest Department has not kept pace with several advances in Forestry activities. Forest Management information systems will be streamlined to serve the emerging needs. Use of Information Technology especially in areas of Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems, Data base management etc. will be integrated into the system of Monitoring and Evaluation.

 

3.4. Encouraging People’s Participation in Forest Management:

 

 

The experience of JFM in AP has been a tremendous success. There has been an overall and perceptible improvement in forestry sector in general. Learning from this experience and to refine the approach will be management of the forests through Vana Samrakshana Samithies on the lines of Community Forest Management. The approach aims at upgrading the initiatives taken in the area of Joint Forest Management (JFM) to Community Forest Management (CFM). While JFM was more a partnership between the forest dependent communities and the GOAP, CFM will be more a democratic process through delegation of the decision making process and aims at decentralizing the entire process of planning and implementation with APFD and GOAP acting more as facilitators and providers of technical and infrastructure support. Community Forest Management is an approach for forest development through a democratized participatory approach and empowering forest dependent local communities. It balances the local needs with external and environmental needs through increased productivity of the forest resources, reduced dependence on forests through substitution of demand and alternate livelihood opportunities, up gradation of living standards and above all inculcating a sense of ownership and pride among the forest dependent communities engaged in CFM.

 

3.4.2 Enabling Issues:

 

Certain legal issues like legal backing for CFM, relaxation under Forest Conservation Act for medicinal plants cultivation by VSS, liberalization of State Monopoly of NTFP, conformity of Panchayat laws with CFM regulations, conflict resolution among stakeholders and traditional rights, consistency of Micro-plans with working plans etc. will receive special attention to create an enabling environment for holistic and sustainable development of forests. Apart from the above, other enabling issues like poverty alleviation through skill up gradation and income generating activities, training and capacity building, empowerment of women and other vulnerable groups, NGO’s participation, etc. will also be focused substantially.

 

3.4.3. Inter Sectoral Co-ordination:

 

Most often, the schemes of Forest Department do not cater to the above aspects of community development. However, since alleviation of rural poverty is the central objective of several ongoing programs, already many departments are working on this theme concurrently. In several cases, these departments work in the same village, with the same objective, but in isolation or sometimes at cross-purposes. All such agencies and programs will be coordinated and integrated with appropriate mechanisms, for better results with efficient utilization of available resources. For this purpose, coordinating mechanisms will be developed at Village, ITDA, Forest Division, District and State levels through multidisciplinary committees. At the Village level such committee will function under the overall guidance of village Sarpanch. At all the other levels they will be headed by beurocrats of appropriate level and will compose of representatives of all concerned departments, NGOs, VSS and members. Separate order will be issued on their composition, duties and responsibilities.

 

3.5. Conserving Bio-diversity and Genetic Resources:

 

3.5.1. Conserving Biodiversity:

 

The Forests of the State are rich in bio-diversity. The Nallamala tract is worthy of special mention in this regard. Numerous species of fauna and flora are nestled and nurtured in the warmth of these forests. In the Seshachalam tract, rare and valuable species like Sandalwood, Redsanders, Shorea talura, Shorea, Tumbuggaia, Cycas Beddomei etc. are threatened, and endangered. Elsewhere, in the state, Wild animals like the Tigers, Leopards, Deer, Antelopes, Birds etc. which once roamed the forests freely, are becoming rare. Already some of the potential areas in the State have been declared as protected areas. Management plans will be developed for holistic development of these areas besides prescribing general measures for conservation of biodiversity and wildlife. In situ and Ex situ conservation will receive attention. Massive education and awareness programs will be taken up especially among school children. “Corridors” will be created connecting the network of protected areas to avoid man animal conflicts.

 

 

The concept of Eco-tourism has become popular and well evolved in several parts of the world. In Andhra Pradesh too, this will be encouraged to benefit both the exchequer and the society. People, especially children, would get education by visiting such areas of Biodiversity. Eco-tourism, apart from providing education, will also provide employment to the local people living in the vicinity of the selected spots and creates awareness among the general public about nature and need for its conservation. However, such activities will be restricted to buffer zones only, to avoid disturbance to habitat. Nature parks and Green belts will be developed around urban agglomerations to build awareness among the urban dwellers of forests and associated life.

 

3.5.3. People’s Participation in Bio-diversity Conservation:

 

Local people in the villages traditionally revere plants and animals. Indian culture enjoins on its people respect for all life. The concept of Karma is ingrained in them. Making use of this customary belief, it would be easy to enlist the co-operation of local people in conserving Bio-diversity. Past efforts of Eco-development through Eco Development Committees or EDC have had encouraging results. EDCs will be strengthened further. They will be the major institutions for biodiversity conservation and eco tourism in addition to Government.

 

 

To improve the economic status of members of the Vana Samrakshana Samithies (VSS), to make them selves sustainable and protect them from exploitation by unscrupulous traders in scheduled areas, adequate measures would be taken to facilitate value addition and efficient marketing of forest produce. The endeavor would be to provide gainful employment to all VSS members throughout the year. So that they became economically self-sufficient and manage the forest resources on a sustainable basis wherever necessary marketing/infrastructure will be provided by Govt. of A.P.

 

 

VSS will be entitled to the forest produce obtained from the forests managed by them as follows: In case of all non timber forest produce, 100% of incremental volume of timber and bamboo harvested from the forests in accordance with the agreed micro-plan and as measured from the baseline established at the time; of the VSS formation will accrue to the VSS. In case of the compounding fee, 50% of the share of the compounding fee, where forest offence cases were detected and handed over by the VSS members to forest department and where forest produce seized shall not be from the VSS area, will accrue to the VSS. In case of the beedi leaf, 50% of the share of the beedi leaf net revenue arising out of the beedi leaf collected later, in the VSS area will accrue to the VSS.

H.S.BRAHMA

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

 

20. COMMUNITY FOREST MANAGEMENT

 

The Community Forest Management Programme is being run with the financial assistance of World Bank scheme is being implemented in 14 Districts namely, Adilabad, Khammam, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Medak, Mahabubnagar, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Chittoor, Kadapa, Nellore.

 

The general guidelines of the programme are contained in G. O. Ms. No. 13. EFS&T (FOR-III) Dept Dt : 12-02-2002 , which is reproduced below:

GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH

ABSTRACT

Forest Department - A.P. Community Forest Management Project - Comprehensive Orders - Issued.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENT FOREST SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (FOR.III) DEPARTMENT

 

G.O.MS.No.13 Dated: 12 .2 .2002

Read the following:-

-oOo-

O R D E R :

  1. Following the guidelines of the Government of India and in compliance with the provisions of National Forest Policy, 1988, the Government of Andhra Pradesh have issued orders in the reference 1st read above for improvement of degraded forests through the participation of local people by introduction of the Joint Forest Management (JFM) programme.

 

  1. These Orders have been amended from time to time through GOs 5 th and 7 th read above.

 

  1. In the references 2 nd, 3 rd and 4 th read above orders have been issued constituting State, District level and ITDA level committees for ensuring inter sectoral coordination for the programme. In the reference 8 th read above orders issued in the reference 3 rd cited were modified regarding sharing the usufruct arising out of forests managed under JFM. In the reference 6 th, 9 th and 11 th read above orders have been issued granting incentives to VSS for their role in apprehending those involved in commission of forest offence cases. In the references 10 th read above orders have been issued granting incentives to VSS for their role in collection of Beedi Leaves.

 

  1. In the reference 12 th read above, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Andhra Pradesh has submitted proposals for refining the programme and implementing Community Forest Management as an advance over Joint Forest Management.

 

  1. In the light of all the above G.Os and the proposal of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Andhra Pradesh, it has been decided to modify the orders issued on the subject and to implement Community Forest Management in the State of Andhra Pradesh as an advance over Joint Forest Management.

 

  1. The Government, after careful consideration and in modification of all the earlier orders issued on the subject hereby issue the following revised and comprehensive orders for implementing the Community Forest Management in the State of Andhra Pradesh with immediate effect.

 

  1. Accordingly Government hereby direct that the local village community be constituted into a "Vana Samrakshana Samithi" (Samithi for short) and the Samithies already constituted to carry out the forest programmes jointly with the Forest Department as per the rules annexed to this order

 

  1. The salient features and the rules applicable under the scheme are detailed in the Annexure I and II to this order.

 

  1. This order issues with the concurrence of Finance & Planning (Fin. Wing Exp.MA&UD & EFS&T) Department vide their U.O. No. 1502/26/A2/Exp. M&F/02, dt.6.2.02.

 

(BY ORDER AND IN THE NAME OF THE GOVERNOR OF ANDHRA PRADESH)

H.S.BRAHMA

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT.

TO

The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, A.P. Hyderabad.

All the District Collectors.

The Accountant General, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad.

The Commissioner Tribal Welfare, Hyderabad.

The Commissioner, Social Welfare, Hyderabad.

All the Project Directors, ITDAs in the State.

All the Project Directors, DRDAs in the State.

The Commissioner, Panchayat Raj Hyderabad.

The Commissioner Rural Development, Hyderabad .

Copy to:-

Country Director, India, World Bank India Office, 69/70, Lodi Estate, New Delhi .

The Prl. Secretary, Revenue Department.

The Secretary, Commissioner of Land Revenue, Hyderabad.

The Secretary, Social Welfare Department.

The Secretary, Panchayat Raj Department

The Secretary, Rural Development Department.

The Secretary, Food & Agriculture Department.

The Prl. Secretary, Finance & Planning (Exp.EFST&T) Department.

The Vice Chairman, Managing Director, A.P.F.D.C.Ltd., Hyderabad .

The Advisor (Forests), DPAP, Dept. of Rural Development, Govt. of India, C.G.O. Complex, Paryavaran Bhavan, New Delhi-110 003.

The Secretary to Govt. of India , Ministry of Environment & Forests,

C.G.O. Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110 003.

The Joint Secretary to Govt. of India, National Afforestation & Eco-development Board, Ministry of Environment & Forests, C.G.O. Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110 003.

The Asst. Inspector General of Forests, National Afforestation & Eco-Development Board,Ministry of Environment & Forests, C.G.O. Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi-110 003.

All Forest Sections in the E.F.S&T Department.

P.S. to Principal Secretary.

P.S. to Special Secretary (3 copies).

P.R.O. to C.M.

P.S. to Minister for Forests.

E.F.S&T (OP) Dept. (3 copies)

Director, State Archives, Osmania University Campus, Tarnaka, Hyderabad

SF / SC.

// FORWARDED :: BY ORDER //

SECTION OFFICER.

 


ANNEXURE – I

 

I. Constitution of Vana Samrakshana Samithi:

 

 

 

 

 

 

i) Each household shall have a maximum of two members out of whom one shall be a woman.

ii) All households of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and those headed by women in the village shall be enrolled automatically as members subject to clause I. (e) (i) above.

iii) The membership of tribals in the V.S.S. in the scheduled areas shall always be more than that of non-tribals.

 

II. Duties and Responsibilities of Vana Samrakshana Samithi:

 

The members of Vana Samrakshana Samithi, individually and collectively shall be responsible to:

 

 

III. Constitution of Managing Committee:

 

 

IV. Duties and Responsibilities of the V.S.S. Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.

 

All records including Cheque Books, Joint Account, Minutes Book, Managing Committee Resolution Book, Annual Plan, Micro-plan, Estimates for Works and all other records deemed necessary, should be in the custody of Chairperson/ Vice Chairperson,

 

Convening General Body Meeting :

 

 

Convening Managing Committee Meeting:

 

 

V. Duties and responsibilities of Managing Committee:

 

 

VI. Constitution and Responsibilities of the Advisory Council

at the V.S.S. level.

 

 

VII. Constitution and responsibilities of the District Forest Committee and ITDA Level Sub-Committee and Forest Division level Coordinating Committee:

 

A District Forestry Committee shall be constituted with the following;

 

  1. District Collector Chairman
  2. Project Director, District Rural Development Agency Member
  3. Project Director, DPIP Member
  4. Project Officer Integrated Tribal Development Agency Member
  5. Representative of GCC at District level Member
  6. District Tribal Welfare Officer Member
  7. Executive Director, Dist. S.C.S.C. Society Member
  8. Joint Director, Agriculture Member
  9. Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Member

10. All the Divisional Forest Officers in the District Member

11. Three NGOs (including at least one Woman Delegate;

Member to be nominated by the AP NGOs Committee on

CFM)

12. 5 V.S.S. members nominated by the District Collector Member (at least 3 members shall be women)

 

Head quarters Divisional Forest Officer will be the Convener of the Committee. The tenure of the nominated members shall be one year.

 

The responsibilities of the District Forest Committee will be as follows;

 

 

Sub-Committee at the ITDA level

 

A Sub Committee shall be constituted with following;

 

  1. Project Officer, ITDA Chairman
  2. Two NGOs (at least one shall be woman) Member

(To be nominated by the C. F.)

  1. Ten V.S.S. members (at least four shall be women) Member

(To be nominated by the C.F.)

  1. GCC Representative Member
  2. Sub DFO/ DFO at ITDA headquarters Member Convener

 

The Subcommittee will be responsible for:

 

 

Forest Division level coordination committee

 

A coordination committee shall be constituted at Forest Division level with the following:

 

1. Divisional Forest Officer Chairman

2. One representatives each from Agriculture, Department,

Animal Husbandry Department, Rural Development (DRDA),

Department, Tribal Welfare Department, ITDA, Social Welfare,

District S.C. Society, GCC, NEDCAP Members

3. Three NGOs Members

4. 5 VSS chairpersons, (at least 3 women) Members

This committee is responsible for:

  1. This committee shall meet every month and monitor functioning of VSS
  2. Implementation of decisions taken in the District Forestry Committee and other meetings.
  3. Ensure coordination of all concerned departments and agencies for proper functioning of VSS.

 

VIII. Constitution and Responsibilities of the State Level Forest Committee

 

A State level committee shall be constituted with the following to coordinate the Community Forest Management. The committee shall meet once in six months and review the progress of Community Forest Management.

 

  1. Prl. Secretary Environment, Forests, Science and Technology Department Chairman
  2. Pr. Secretary Social Welfare or his nominee Member
  3. Secy. Panchayat Raj Member
  4. Secy. Rural Development Member
  5. Managing Director A.P.F.D.C. Member
  6. Commissioner, Tribal Welfare Member
  7. Director, Animal Husbandry Department Member
  8. Commissioner, Agriculture Department Member
  9. Managing Director, G.C.C. Member

10. Nominee of Secretary, Finance Member

11. Director, Women and Child Welfare Department Member

12. NGOs 2 Nos (nominated by the AP NGOs Committee on CFM) Member

13. Representative of Ministry of Environment and Forests (GOI) Member

14. Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests, A.P. Hyderabad.

Member Convener

X. Duties and Responsibilities of Forest Department.

 

 

XI. Role of NGOs., NGIs, other line agencies,

XII. Rights and Privileges of the Vana Samrakshana Samithi:

 

 

 

The same shall be passed on to the Vana Samrakshana Samithi as prescribed below:

 

 

 

 

3. The V.S.S. shall be entitled to a 50% share of the beedi leaf net revenue arising out of the beedi leaf produced in the V.S.S. area. This 50% share of the net revenue shall be deposited in the V.S.S. account and utilized for development works as prescribed in the micro-plan.

 

XIII. Micro-planning and Annual Planning.

 

XIV. Transparency in Working:

 

H.S.BRAHMA

PRL. SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

 

ANNEXURE – II

 

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

 

We, the Managing Committee Members of the _____________ Vana Samrakshana Samithi duly elected by the Vana Samrakshana Samithi as per the provisions of G.O.Ms.No.224, dated 11.11.1993, do hereby undertake to perform the duties and functions as detailed in the G.O.Ms.No.13, EFES&T(For III) Dept. dated 12.2.2002 of the Forest Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh for proper protection of the Forest (s)/Plantation (s) assigned to this Committee as per the schedule given hereunder.

 

SCHEDULE:

1. Name of Vana Samrakshana Samithi

2. District

3. Division

4. Range

5. Section

6. Beat

7. Block, Compartment No.

8. Area (ha)

9. Boundary

 

North - East -

South - West -

In return for the satisfactory performance of the above duties and functions, the Vana Samrakshana Samithi will be entitled to share in the usufructs as envisaged in the aforesaid G.O.Ms.No.13, EFES&T(For III) Dept. dated 12.2.2002. and that these usufruct benefits as detailed in the aforesaid G.O.Ms.No.13, EFES&T(For III) Dept. dated 12.2.2002 shall be allowed only upon satisfactory observance of the duties and functions by this Committee and the individual beneficiaries.

 

Signature of the Members of the Committee Signature of Witnesses

 

Name & Address - Signature Name & Address - Signature

1. 1.

2. 2.

3. 3.

We agree to perform the duties mentioned in G.O.Ms.No.13, EFES&T(For III) Dept. dated 12.2.2002.

Signature of Local Forest Officer

 

S.No. Name & Designation Signature

1.

2.

3.

 

We agree to assist the State Forest Department and V.S.S in carrying out the Community Forest Management Plan and implementation of G.O.Ms.No.13 EFES&T (For III) Department, dated 12.2.2002.

 

Signature of witnesses

 

S.No. Name & Address Signature

1.

2

H.S.BRAHMA

PRINCIPAL SECRETARY TO GOVERNMENT

 

GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH

FOREST DEPARTMENT

 

Ref.No.47842/2000-P MU-III/2

Dated: 14-02-2002

Office of the Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests Andhra Pradesh, ‘Aranya Bhavan’, Hyderabad

 

Sri K. Subba Rao, IFS,

Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests

***

The Comprehensive Orders issued by the Government on Andhra Pradesh Community Forest Management Project in G.O.Ms.No.13, Environment, Forest , Science & Technology (For.III) Department, Dated 12-02-2002 are communicated.

 

Sd/- K.Subba Rao ,

Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests

To

All the Officers of the Distribution List “A”.

Copy to the Table of Prl. Chief Conservator of Forests/All Addl. Prl. Chief Conservators of Forests/ All Chief Conservators of Forests.

Copy to the Stock File.