Natural Resources provide important economic resources to village communities and are also tightly linked with community health. In recent years degradation of forest lands have been fuelled by scarcity of agricultural land, encroachment, transfer of land for development activities and high levels of natural resource withdrawal from forest lands. Additionally, due to droughts in the area and inadequate understanding of proper use of natural resources, there have been high levels of deforestation and degradation of forest resources in the Pratapgarh area of Chittorgarh district in south eastern Rajasthan. Across India, Joint Forestry Management (JFM) schemes have been developed which seek to encourage participation of local communities in the management of forests in cooperation with the Forest Department. The struggle to give village communities control over natural resources has the dual purpose of protecting natural resources and providing communities with livelihood opportunities. . Local Forest Protection Committees have been formed through which local communities are given authority over local resources and have access to the economic benefits of resource preservation. Rajasthan adopted the Joint Forestry Management scheme in 1991 and since then Prayas has been working with local communities to spread awareness of the hazards of deforestation and motivate people to form Forest Protection Committees. Prayas has organized re-election and registration of Forest Protection Committees and fought for their ecognition by the Forest Department. The focus of this work is to ensure that the benefits of forest protection and regeneration reach the communities and are distributed equitably.
Main Issues in Natural Resource Management
Community based Joint Forest Management program for the protection and promotion of natural resources on a local and state level.
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