Stop privatizing India’s Forests!
A Press Release by All India Forum of Forest Movements (AIFFM) denounces the Government of India allowing “forest concessions” to private sector companies in what it perceives as state-owned forests. Forty per cent of the “identified” degraded forests could be given away on lease to private companies for raising plantations, violating not one but several statutes such as the Forest Rights Act or the Indian Forest Act. They also highlight a recent announcement by the Government of a US$15 billion package for new plantations. In this context, AIFFM affirms once again: “Plantations are not forests: irrespective of species being planted, a plantation can not replace or in any way replicate the biodiversity even a so-called degraded natural forest support, and the sustenance they provide to local communities.”