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Joint Forest Management

Joint Forest management (JFM) is a model for Forest protection and Management in close partnership between Forest Dependent Communities and Forest Department on the basis of mutual trusts and jointly defined duties and responsibilities. Instances of operation of such a model in an informal way were noticed during 1950s in the districts of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj. This model was formalized by Govt. of Odisha resolution dated –1st of August 1988 wherein for the first time in the country the role and partnership of forest fringe villages were recognized. Historical ground for JFM was also envisaged in the New Forest Policy 1988. Government of India issued policy guidelines on JFM on 1st June 1990. Government of Odisha modified its 1988 JFM resolution in 1993, broad basing it to cover all types of forests. Subsequently it was revised in the year 2008 and 2011, incorporating several other features found relevant and appropriate to the context. Under JFM guidelines, Vana Samrakshan Samitis (VSSs) are formed drafting two adult members from each family. Forest Department provides funds and technical guidance to the VSSs for undertaking various activities in the forest areas assigned to each VSS. Members are entitled to usufructs in terms of all intermediary yields free of cost and have share in major forest products when harvested as per working plan prescriptions.