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Village Forest Committees (VFCs)

Composition of VFC

The VFC shall be formed for a part of a village, a village or for a selected group of villages. Every adult member within the jurisdiction of VFC and interested in conservation, development and management of forest shall be eligible to become a member of the General Body of the VFC. He/She can enroll himself/herself as member of VFC with the Member Secretary of the VFC by remitting Rs. 2/-.

Formation of VFC

  • The Villagers interested in participating in the scheme of JFPM may appoint a few promoters to facilitate the constitution of VFC. The promoters shall approach the Range Forest Officer (RFO) concerned and declare their intention to participate in the JFPM programme with a list of interested villagers.
  • The RFO shall submit the proposals for registration of VFC to the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) having jurisdiction over the area.
  • VFC shall be registered as Associations under the Karnataka Forest Act by the respective DCF (Territorial).

Managing Committee of VFC

There shall be a Managing Committee (MC) for each registered VFC for a period of 5 years to conduct day to day activities of the VFC. MC members are individuals who are committed to the JFPM process, possess a certain degree of community respect, trust and credibility, and are willing to spare their time for VFC activities. They shall represent the interests of the VFC members and be responsible for proper administration and active functioning of the VFC.

The constitution of this committee is as follows:

1. The Chair person 1
2. Elected members
SC/ST 2 - minimum 1 woman member
Landless labourers 2 - minimum 1 woman member
Village Artisans/ NTFP Collectors 2 - minimum 1 woman member
General Category 4 - minimum 2 woman members
3 Ex-officio members
Village Accountant 1
Gram Panchayat Secretary 1
NGO Representative 1
Member Secretary 1
Total 15

What is MP & MOU?

A detailed plan of action of VFC activities is known as Management Plan (MP) which is prepared by the VFC in consultation with all its members, the forest department and all other Government and Non-government agencies concerned. MP is effective for a period of 10 years and reviewed after 5 years and also in consonance with the approved working plan.

Memorandum of understanding (MOU) is the official and legally binding agreement of partnership in JFPM activities. It is prepared to implement JFPM activities by the VFC for a period of 10 years and reviewed after 5 years.

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of the VFC?

  • The VFC shall help Forest department in preparing MP for the areas identified for the purpose.
  • The VFC shall assist the Forest department in planning, protection, conservation and development wastelands included in the MP.
  • The VFC shall effectively perform its duties and responsibilities as per MOU and MP and play an important role in management of JFPM areas.
  • The VFC shall also play important role in the development of any Government land included for JFPM purpose. In case of afforestation, the VFC shall assist in identification of land, choice of species, mode of protection and shall also provide necessary assistance and co-operation in protection and management of plantations. The VFC shall be entirely responsible for the full protection of the forests and plantations raised on such lands after three years, preferably through its members or through paid watchman employed by the VFC out of its resources.
  • The VFC shall play important role in enriching the forests by preventing encroachments, forest fires, illicit cuttings, smuggling of forest produce and poaching of wild animals and regulating grazing and such other functions which are needed to develop forest resources.
  • The VFC shall access the funds from government, Forest Development Agency (FDA) and other development agencies for implementation of MP.

For the active participation of the people in the forestry activities, as per the guidelines of the Government of inida, a Scheme of Joint Forest Planning and Management has been sanctioned.

This aims at establishment of Village Forest Committees which will be associated with various aspects of forest management like prepare and implement management plans to protect and manage the degraded forest areas of their jurisdiction.

Click here to see The updated list of villages identified for the formation of VFCs during 2005-06