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Watch what happens when tribal women manage India’s forests

 IPS 04 May 2019

Led by women, tribal communities in rural India are protecting their lands from illegal foresters, so they can continue to carve out simple lives, and sustainable futures for their children. India’s Forest Rights Act (FRA) allows them to own, manage and sell non-timber forest products (NTFP), which some 100 million landless people in India depend on for income, medicine and housing. Overall, 15,000 villages in India, primarily in the eastern states, protect around two million hectares of forests. This quiet drama – involving the 275 million people who reside in or on the fringes of the country’s bountiful forests – could be the defining struggle of the century, reports IPS. (1711 Words) - By Manipadma Jena

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Women from the Gunduribadi tribal village in the eastern Indian state of Odisha patrol their forests with sticks to prevent illegal logging. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

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Women vigilantes apprehend a timber thief. Village councils strictly monitor the felling of trees in Odisha’s forests, and permission to remove timber is only granted to families with urgent needs for housing material or funeral pyres. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

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With an eighth-grade education, Nibasini Pradhan is the most literate person in Gunduribadi village, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. She operates a government-supplied GPS device to help the community define the boundaries of their customary land. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

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