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2. Definitions.-

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,-

(a) "community forest resource" means customary common forest land within the traditional or customary boundaries of the village or seasonal use of landscape in the case of pastoral communities, including reserved forests, protected forests and protected areas such as Sanctuaries and National Parks to which the community had traditional access;

(b) "critical wildlife habitat" means such areas of National Parks and Sanctuaries where it has been specifically and clearly established, case by case, on the basis of scientific and objective criteria, that such areas are required to be kept as inviolate for the purposes of wildlife conservation as may be determined and notified by the Central Government in the Ministry of Environment and Forests after open process of consultation by an Expert Committee, which includes experts from the locality appointed by that Government wherein a representative of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs shall also be included, in determining such areas according to the procedural requirements arising from sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 4;

(c) "forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes" means the members or community of the Scheduled Tribes who primarily reside in and who depend on the forests or forest lands for bona fide livelihood needs and includes the Scheduled Tribe pastoralist communities;

(d) "forest land" means land of any description falling within any forest area and includes unclassified forests, undemarcated forests, existing or deemed forests, protected forests, reserved forests, Sanctuaries and National Parks;

(e) "forest rights" means the forest rights referred to in section 3;

(f) "forest villages" means the settlements which have been established inside the forests by the forest department of any State Government for forestry operations or which were converted into forest villages through the forest reservation process and includes forest settlement villages, fixed demand holdings, all types of taungya settlements, by whatever name called, for such villages and includes lands for cultivation and other uses permitted by the Government;

(g) "Gram Sabha" means a village assembly which shall consist of all adult members of a village and in case of States having no Panchayats, Padas, Tolas and other traditional village institutions and elected village committees, with full and unrestricted participation of women;

(h) "habitat" includes the area comprising the customary habitat and such other habitats in reserved forests and protected forests of primitive tribal groups and pre-agricultural communities and other forest dwelling Scheduled Tribes;

(i) "minor forest produce" includes all non-timber forest produce of plant origin including bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, tendu or kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tubers and the like;

(j) "nodal agency" means the nodal agency specified in section 11;

(k) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(l) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(m) "Scheduled Areas" means the Scheduled Areas referred to in clause (1) of article 244 of the Constitution;

(n) "sustainable use" shall have the same meaning as assigned to it in clause (o) of section 2 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (18 of 2003);

(o) "other traditional forest dweller" means any member or community who has for at least three generations prior to the 13th day of December, 2005 primarily resided in and who depend on the forest or forests land for bona fide livelihood needs.

Explanation.-For the purpose of this clause, "generation"" means a period comprising of twenty-five years;

(p) "village" means-

(i) a village referred to in clause (b) of section 4 of the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (40 of 1996); or

(ii) any area referred to as a village in any State law relating to Panchayats other than the Scheduled Areas; or

(iii) forest villages, old habitation or settlements and unsurveyed villages, whether notified as village or not; or

(iv) in the case of States where there are no Panchayats, the traditional village, by whatever name called;

(q) "wild animal" means any species of animal specified in Schedules I to IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (53 of 1972) and found wild in nature.

1. 31st December, 2007, vide notification No. S. O. 2224(E), dated 31st December, 2007, see Gazette of India Extraordinary, Part II, sec 3(ii)

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 Back

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