Focus Areas India

 1. access to justice
 2. biodiversity

 3. intellectual property

 4. socio-economic aspects

 5. water
 6. torts

Special Indian Dossiers

1. Narmada Dams
2. Bhopal Gas Disaster
3. Best Bakery Case

Legal Instruments Database

1. General Instruments
2. Water Instruments
3. Forest Documents







Selected Instruments Related to Forests


Indian forests have been attracting the attention of policymakers, civil society as well as industrial lobbies on various counts. The object of legislative and policy instruments since the colonial era, Indian forests have been governed by a vast bureaucratic cadre dedicated since pre-Independence times. While some categories notified under Central Acts for protection and conservation are exclusively under governance of the Union, while other unregulated forest lands/regions (variously categorised as khasra jungle, gramya jungle) have been under the aegis of Revenue Departments of State, land being a State subject under the Constitution.

More recently, conservation of forests have been the sole focus of two dedicated Benches in the Supreme Court, since 1995. Over time, the controversy over traditional claims of indigenous communities to lands that may be classified as forests (under the various legislations of States or the Union) and the conservationists' view that conservation of forests would require some categories of forests to be declared as completely inviolate and should be freed of any human contact whatsoever, has come to the forefront. The need to legislatively recognise the traditional claims of indigenous communities has led to the Forest Rights Act being passed in 2006.

The State and Union legislations, and various other forms of executive legislations (rules, regulations, Joint Forest Management resolutions) form the matrix of the law/policy instruments that affect forests in India.


Central Acts and other Instruments

Joint Forest Management

State Acts



Tamil Nadu
West Bengal