RUPFOR, housed in InsPIRE, acts as a stakeholders’ forum on Joint Forest Management (JFM) and works closely with the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ (MoEF) JFM Cell. RUPFOR acts as the secretariat to the official JFM Network constituted by MoEF and performs the following functions in consultation with MoEF’s JFM Cell:
- Collecting, analysing and disseminating information on participatory forestry among different stakeholders
- Assisting national policy-makers in monitoring the progress of JFM and providing inputs for policy making
- Assisting in cross learning between different groups practising participatory forestry and tracking new opportunities for participatory forestry in India.
Some of the activities carried out by RUPFOR are briefly mentioned below. (For detailed information on RUPFOR activities, please go to www.rupfor.org)
- JFM Network Meetings: RUPFOR organizes regular meetings of national JFM Network on behalf of MoEF in which state Forest Department officials and NGOs actively participate. A national workshop on JFM was also organized in August 2002 at Kolkata. The most recent meeting of state Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Forest Secretaries and JFM Nodal Officers was organized in September 2003.
- Stakeholder Consultations: RUPFOR has organized stakeholder consultations on issues such as biological sustainability of NTFP extraction, role of panchayats in PFM and forest encroachment issue. A consultation between MoEF officials and NGOs active in PFM was also organized.
- Documentation and Sharing: Experiences from selected areas/projects are being documented for wider sharing and dissemination by RUPFOR.
- A quarterly newsletter called Inform, also prepared by RUPFOR, carries current news and articles on topical issues in community forestry. At present, it has around 500 subscribers in India as well as other countries.
- A comprehensive website www.rupfor.org has been developed that has all the basic information such as policies, government orders, current status of community forestry and the state of forest resources.
- Three monographs entitled "Joint Forest Management in India: A Decade of Partnership", "Arunodya" and "Taking Roots: JFM in West Bengal" have been published under a monograph series.
- A book on 10 years of JFM experience titled "Root to Canopy: regenerating forests through community-state partnerships" was published in collaboration with the Commonwealth Forestry Association (India Chapter) and was recently released by Prodipto Ghosh, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests in the presence of the Director General of Forests, Government of India. The foreword of the book has been written by the Hon’ble Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Shri TR Baalu.
- Production of a National JFM Brochure: A brochure detailing the origin, current status and impacts of the JFM program in the country has been prepared for MoEF. It was distributed by the Hon’ble Union Minister for Environment and Forests at the United Nations Forum on Forests in New York.
(Request a publication)
- Development of JFM Monitoring Formats: Sets of formats for monitoring the progress of JFM in India have been developed. These are being used by the Government of India for obtaining information on JFM from various states.
- Identification of 'Forests of Excellence': RUPFOR has assisted MoEF in identifying the best sites (especially community forestry sites) where good forest management work has been done under FAO’s "In Search of Excellence" initiative. A total of 26 sites in different parts of the country were identified.
- World Summit on Sustainable Development: RUPFOR played an important role in promoting community forestry and JFM at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. An article on JFM was also published in a national daily as part of the national process being coordinated by Centre for Environment Education (CEE).
(For detailed information on RUPFOR and its activities, please go to www.rupfor.org)