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Table 2 

Key Forest Tenure Laws in Case Study Countries

Legal Framework/StatutesWho Holds Land Rights?What Types of Community Rights Are Recognized?Strength of Community Rights
India Indian Forest Act 1927; Forest Conservation Act 1980; Joint Forest Management circular 1990 State forestry departments/Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) Limited to harvesting of firewood and collection of fodder in limited quantities. Very weak 
Forest Rights Act 2006 Village general assemblies (Over forests & land brought within the purview of the FRA). Rights to manage community forests, and to harvest and market non-timber forest produce; timber rights unclear. Strong 
Tanzania Land Act 1999; The Forest Act 2002; Wildlife Policy 2007 The state—“Unoccupied and unused village land” considered “general land,” which is under the authority of the central government represented by FBD; the 2002 act provides for creation of village land forest reserves. Very few rights unless village boundaries are registered and delineated, which is uncommon; no rights within the boundaries of national parks and reserves. Weak 
Village Land Act 1999 Village councils—“Unoccupied and unused” village lands vested in village councils. Significantly strong rights under community-based forest management (CBFM); Practically difficult because of the red tape. Strong 
Mexico Agrarian Law of 1992 Members of agrarian communities Rights of timber harvesting with appropriate management plans & safeguards. Strong 
General Law on Sustainable Forest Development of 2012 Members of agrarian communities All of the above plus forest rights of the tenants Strong 
Legal Framework/StatutesWho Holds Land Rights?What Types of Community Rights Are Recognized?Strength of Community Rights
India Indian Forest Act 1927; Forest Conservation Act 1980; Joint Forest Management circular 1990 State forestry departments/Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) Limited to harvesting of firewood and collection of fodder in limited quantities. Very weak 
Forest Rights Act 2006 Village general assemblies (Over forests & land brought within the purview of the FRA). Rights to manage community forests, and to harvest and market non-timber forest produce; timber rights unclear. Strong 
Tanzania Land Act 1999; The Forest Act 2002; Wildlife Policy 2007 The state—“Unoccupied and unused village land” considered “general land,” which is under the authority of the central government represented by FBD; the 2002 act provides for creation of village land forest reserves. Very few rights unless village boundaries are registered and delineated, which is uncommon; no rights within the boundaries of national parks and reserves. Weak 
Village Land Act 1999 Village councils—“Unoccupied and unused” village lands vested in village councils. Significantly strong rights under community-based forest management (CBFM); Practically difficult because of the red tape. Strong 
Mexico Agrarian Law of 1992 Members of agrarian communities Rights of timber harvesting with appropriate management plans & safeguards. Strong 
General Law on Sustainable Forest Development of 2012 Members of agrarian communities All of the above plus forest rights of the tenants Strong 
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