Government committed to give land titles to legitimate forest dwellers says Environment Minister while addressing a press conference on the concluding day of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the United Nations Convention on Desertification (UNCCD).
The government is committed to give land titles to all legitimate forest dwellers as they are a part of the forest development strategy, Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar. He was addressing a press conference on the concluding day of the 14th Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the United Nations Convention on Desertification (UNCCD) ,
Javadekar said his government’s stand is clear on the rights of the forest dwellers, a matter which is pending before the Supreme Court.
“The government believes and is committed to give land titles to all legitimate forest dwellers. In the strategy for forest development, tribals and dwellers are a part of it as they live and protect the forest. We have allotted in last five years millions of land titles,” the minister said.
On February 13, the Supreme Court had ordered eviction of more than 11.8 lakh tribal families and traditional forest dwellers from forestlands in 16 states.
The order was condemned by conservationists and forests dwellers’ movements.
After a nationwide protest, the government approached the court asking it to stay its eviction order.
“When the first decision of the Supreme Court came, we immediately filed the affidavit in favour of forest rights and that decision was stayed by the court itself,” Javadekar said.
“So our position is very clear. Tribals and forest dwellers are part of the forest development strategy as they protect and nurture the forests,” he said.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar presented the New Delhi Declaration which provides a roadmap towards combating the problem. It was presented to the participants of the 14th UN conference on land desertification.
Prakash Javadekar, who is the president of the COP, presented it at the closing of the high-level segment of the conference in which 70 ministers, over 190 countries and more than 8,000 delegates are participating.
The Minister thanked the delegates for contributing to New Delhi Declaration which will be adopted today.
Earlier, Prakash Javadekar highlighted various aspects of UNCCD COP14 and said that a total of 3 round table conferences occurred, emphasising on land climate, renewable energy, rural-urban communities failing & fostering followed by fostering a global movement for ecosystem restoration.
He also added COP14 also witnessed 3 interactive dialogue on various climatic issues.
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