Mr. Prakash Javdekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Ministry of Environment and Forest must transfer CAMPA funds to the Gram Sabhas
Why is this important?
Like the migrant workers, the tribals and forest dwellers are another marginalized community that have been neglected by the Indian government during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
The Finance Minister has announced an economic relief package which-as per experts and activists-has utterly failed to address the economic distress caused to the tribal communities by the COVID 19 outbreak and the sudden imposition of a complete lockdown. But on the contrary Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds of 6000 crores have been approved for the states in the pretext of creating tribal employment. The tribals and forest dwellers have persistently and relentlessly demanded the CAMPA funds to be handed over to the Gram sabhas. Instead with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) in place, all the money is unjustly and illegally transferred to forest departments encouraging misuse of the funds for large scale monoculture plantations that have affected land and forest rights of tribals and have caused the destruction of biodiversity.
Earlier in May a few civil society organizations, researchers and activists submitted a report to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, highlighting the concerns of the Adivasi community:
1. Crippling lack of public healthcare that severely limits the capacities to curb the spread of the disease.
2. Tens of thousands of tribal migrants stranded in cities.
3. Lack of institutional mechanisms and access for procurement and distribution of minor forest produce (MFP).
4. Rampant deforestation in the name of forest land diversion without the consent of the communities.
5. Violations and non-implementation of progressive legislations like the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, and The Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996.
Sign this petition asking the Ministry of Forest and Environment to support demands for an economic package for tribal communities and direct transfer of CAMPA funds to the gram sabhas of the tribal communities and not the forest department.