Geo-informatics for Forest Rights

The Geoinformatics for Forest Rights Act program was initiated by the Government of Maharashtra for the implementation of Government of India’s Forest Rights Act-2006 (Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers-Recognition of Forest Rights Act). The Geoinformatics system seeks to provide evidence for the recognition of forest rights under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 by leveraging appropriate Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies for measurement of claimed forest land, satellite imagery for verification of claim and granting of final rights to the forest land. An extensive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based framework has been adopted for the implementation of this Act in Maharashtra.The technological components include a web based monitoring system for information exchange and dissemination, a software known as TRTI-VGIS for land claim verification, an online bulk SMS service for field coordination.

Through the contextual usage of appropriate technologies, the Geoinformatics system is resulting in ensuring smooth coordination and functioning between various government departments like the Tribal, Forest and Revenue departments for better implementation of the Act. The Geoinformatics system has created an access to crucial information required for validating claims under the FRA thus benefiting both citizens and the government.In this manner, the new system is enabling traditional forest dwellers and scheduled tribes to claim their legal entitlements and also protecting forest land from illegal encroachments.

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