Community rights over forests include both rights to access (called CRs) and rights to manage/govern (called CFR rights). The recognition of both CRs and CFR rights in Central India has lagged far behind its potential. In the first comprehensive study of CR/CFR implementation, we analysed the extent, form and nature of recognition of these rights in Chhattisgarh state till mid-2021. We show distortions in the interpretation and hence recognition of CRs in the pre-2019 period. We observe major improvements post-2019 through the focus on CFR rights, but the target-driven approach comes with its own limitations, which we highlight and suggest ways to improve the recognition of both kinds of rights.
Support: Oxfam (India)