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Government Of Assam Environment & Forest

Joint Forest Management

What is JSM !

It is a concept, which is based on the principle of rights of local communities in forests, a mechanism to manage the forest that is owned by the State but appropriated by local communities, also an approach involving the evolution of a very complex property rights regime to generate a sustainable interface between the Forest Department (FD) and the local community and it is a possible way through which the interests of people and of long term sustainability are harmonized in a mutually supporting manner.

Prior to 1988, the forest management objectives were commercial forestry & revenue generation. But the 1988 Forest Policy envisaged for conservation of soil and environment, subsistence requirements of the local people etc. Thereafter, the Government of India issued guidelines on 1st June, 1990 and adopted Joint Forest Management under the National Afforestation Programme for conservation of forests with clearly identified duties and functions for ensuring protection of forests. The policy was motivated by a desire to both reduce environmental degradation and also reduce rural poverty.

Genesis of JFM In ASOM

  • Government of Asom promulgated the 'Assam Joint (people's participation) Forestry Management Rules, 1998.
  • 28 Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) were constituted during 2002-03 with 503 Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs).
  • Government of Asom adopted the 'Assam Forest Policy, 2004' which emphasizes JFM to graduate to Community Forest Management aiming at sustainable forest management.


To Support The Livelihoods Of The Forest Fringe Communities Through Improved Natural Resource Management with Community Participation.

Empowerment Of Communities:

  • All adult members of the village constitute the General Body of JFMC.
  • Members of the Executive Committee comprising of President, Member Secretary, a member from the Panchayat and six other members drawn from the General body, plan and carry out the works of the committee.
  • NGOs play crucial role as an interface between Forest Department and the community.
  • JFMCs to become self-sustained institutions for integrated development of the forest and forest fringe villages.

Gender Issues Addressed

  • At least three members of Executive Committee shall be women.


  • Integrated approach - Non-Forestry activities identified by the communities shall be integrated into the action plan of respective JFMCs. The Forest Department shall assume the role of Nodal department for this integration.

Usufruct Sharing Arrangement

  • Full share in NTFP collection
  • Full share in the harvest of timber in plantations raised by JFMC
  • Share in proportion to period of management in high forests managed by JFMC
  • 50% of net revenue to be reinvested in forestry works - a step towards sustainability of JFMC.

Handling Of Funds

  • Each JFMC shall maintain two Bank Accounts- Forestry Account & Village Development Account.
  • Forestry Account to be held jointly by the President & Member secretary (FD Nominee)-for receiving project fund.
  • Forest Village Development Account to be held jointly by President and Treasurer of JFMC for overall developmental activities.

Financial Delegation

  • JFMC Cash book to be the primary cashbook and Treasurer to be disburser.
  • Micro Plans, Annual Plans, work estimates to be prepared by the communities.
  • Annual Work Plan, Estimates and Cash Books to be in simple and easily understandable language.
  • Total transparency in financial transactions.

Entry Point Activities

  • Provision of Entry Point Activity for community welfare in respect of road connectivity, drinking water, assistance to school, health and veterinary care.
  • Further there will be income generating activities under NAP for the Self Help Groups, distribution of hand looms, trainings, skill up gradation, plantation of short rotation crops like cane and bamboo, medicinal and aromatic plants, other NTFPs (Non Timber Forest Produces), value addition etc.

Impacts Envisioned

  • Increase in annual household income
  • Reduction in Urban Migration
  • Increase in Dense Forest cover
  • Reduction in biotic interference in Forest
  • Women empowerment
  • Strengthening local institutions
  • Sustainable Natural Resource management.

Strengths & Challenges

  • Situations of conflict to be transformed to situations of cooperation
  • FD to be mainstreamed into administration of forest dependant communities
  • Restoration of synergy between forest and human development
  • Likely conflicts due to regulation of resource use
  • Issues regarding Encroachments, Settlement
  • Fairly young JFM institutions
  • Integration of various sectors into Project
  • Sustainability of the project.

Pressure on the forests

  • Gap in Demand & Supply
  • Biotic pressure
  • Encroachment
  • Border disputes
  • Shifting cultivation
  • Insurgency & ethnic strife
  • Smuggling

Status of Forest Development Agencies in Asom

(Under National Afforestation Programme as on 31.12.2005)

  • No. of Forest Development Agencies: 28
  • No. of Joint Forest Management Committees: 550
  • Population: 3,21,103
  • No. of Households in Project Villages: 50,856
  • No. of Forest Villages: 90
  • No. of Revenue Villages: 460
  • Physical Target: 26,235 Hact.
  • Physical Achievement: 12,575 Hact. (47.93%)
  • Total Outlay: RS.3,695.48 lakhs
  • Financial Achievement: Rs.1 ,372.05 lakhs (38.69%)
  • Total wage employment generated: 15,94,828 Nos

Jhum Rehabilitation

Physical Target = 720 Ha. in Area

Total outlay = Rs. 110.07 lakhs

No. of JFMCs = 36

  • About 550 number of Joint JFMCs are now operative with an objective to attain self sustainable institutions at the village level. Once they start trading and adding value to Non Timber Forest Produces (NTFP) including medicinal and aromatic plants, these committees will become viable and stand on their own.
  • The members of JFMCs are sensitized to undertake charge of NTFPs extracted from forests under 28 Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) in Asom.
  • In near future, FDAs / JFMCs should be able to take charge of forest villages and forest fringe villages for improvement in the quality of life at the village level.
  • The Imperative should be for attitudinal change to think beyond forest for scientific management, integrate people, training & skill up-gradation.
  • Look for resources beyond state plan and central schemes. Micro finance from the financial institutions like NEDFi, NABARD and other rural banks are being tied up.


  • Under Village Energy Security Programme ( VESP ) of the Ministry of Non Conventional Energy Sources, Government of India, 14 projects for total energy security in select 11 JFM villages have been sanctioned during 2005-06.
  • The total project cost is Rs 319.42 lakhs to electrify 1230 households covering a population of 7550.
  • 23 Biomass gasifiers, 75 biogas plants, 14 oil expellers and 1230 improved smokeless chullahs will be installed.

JFM and National Mission on Bio-diesel

  • Department of Land resources of the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India has sanctioned raising of 50 lakh jatropha seedlings under their programme - National Mission on Bio-diesel. These plants will be raised by 16 FDAs in 12 Districts during 2006-07.

JFM and Forest Village development

  • Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India is implementing the programme of forest village development in Assam through FDAs by constituting JFMCs in 373 forest villages. The activities under the programme include community welfare works and income generation activities for the forest dwellers.

Natural Resources Management & Integrated Livelihood (NaRMlL), A Forestry Pilot Project of Word Bank

Nos. of JFMC: 10 Nos. under Kamrup West Division - 6, Nagaon South Division - 4

Project Area: 1500 Hacf. of 2 Pilot Divisions

Population: 2079 Households

No. of Beneficiaries: 9683 provisional (Male-4870 & Female 4813)

Bicycles distributed: 100 Nos. (KW Division-60 & N. S. Division 40)

People's Nursery created: 5 Nos.

Vehicles purchased: 3 Nos.

Formation of SHG, Training & Capacity Building, Micro Plans etc. completed


  • Large gap between demand and supply of fuel wood, timber and fodder
  • Present demand of firewood is 5.3 million cum per annum.
  • Low forest productivity.
  • Large extent of degraded forest areas.
  • Improvement of resource base to be linked with livelihood support of the people in the fringe areas.
The Vision of JFM is not merely a programme of afforestation but a new approach for forest management, which will culminate into a movement for rural development.

JFM & Panchayats

The relationship between Panchayats and JFM Committees should be such that the JFM Committees take advantage of the administrative and financial position and organizational capacity of the Panchayats for the management of the forest resources. However, the unique and separate non-political identity of the JFM Committees as 'guardian of forests' should be maintained and ensured. The benefits accrued from NTFP sales should be shared with all the members of the Gaon Sabha including the JFM committees.

Participatory Management with Stake-holders

Status Report of Forest Development Agencies in Asom

Total Outlay = Rs. 3695.48 (Rupees in Lakh)
Quarter Ending: 31.03.2006

of FDA
No. of
Areas in Ha.
Amount Released
Rs. in lakhs
Amount Released
till Date
1.Aie Valley53.481734014.00-20.0034.00
11.Hamren Afforestation142.1421105026.0043.84-69.84
11.A.-Do- Jhum Rehabilitation110.0736720--47.0047.00
15.Kamrup East117.031376025.0036.00-61.00
16.Kamrup West76.49221000-16.51-16.51
17.K.A. East315.3141210055.0083.0090.00228.00
18.K.A. West212.4115130037.0056.0068.0093.00
22.Nagoan South65.7610500-18.00-18.00
23.N. Lakhimpur68.5011550-17.00-17.00
24.North Kamrup68.2014600--31.0031.00
25.N.C. Hills161.3622120032.0037.0049.00118.00
26.Sonitpur East63.89849013.00-18.0031.00
27.Sonitpur West124.371490024.00-34.0058.00
 Total =3695.4855026,985558.00799.35550.001907.35


Component Wise Progress Report - (Up to 31.12.2005)

Progress (Ha)
Financial Progress
(Rupees in lakh)
TargetAchievementAmount of OutlayAmount of UtilizationUtiliz-ation %
Advance work in Ha.Creation in Ha.Advance work in Ha.%
Creation in Ha.%
1.Aided Natural Regene-ration69506600405758.37432765.56267.68136.2189.64
2.Artificial Regene-ration102406325473246.21399863.21725.63330.2377.00
3.Pasture Develop-ment17012012070.597058.337.944.7399.58
4.Bamboo Plan-
5.Cane Plan-
6.Mixed Plan-
7.Herbs & Medicinal Plantation37525022560.0012550.0033.5816.95100.00
8.Soil & Moisture Conser-vation------256.09108.4376.52
10.Micro plan------38.6125.8489.63
12.Monito-ring & Evalu-ation------23.214.7765.07
-ved Techn-ology
Point Activity

Afforestation and JFM

  • Great scope- 3,000 fringe villages
  • 499 FV
  • About 700 JFMCs
  • 550 doing reforestation under NAP

Nodal Officer Forest Development Agency

To coordinate the works of the Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) in thE State, the office of the Nodal Officer FDAs has been created. He is thE officer in charge to liaison with Government of India and the other developmental departments. Sri Rajendra P. Agarwalla, IFS, the Chief Conservator of Forest is the Nodal Officer of FDAs in Asom.

List of Chairmen & Chief Executive Officers under FDAs in Asom, (as on 31st March, 2006)

Sl. No.Name of Chairmen & CFCircleName of FDADivisionName of CEO
1.R.D.S. Tanwar, IFSCentral Assam
Circle, Guwahati
1. Kamrup EastS.F. Guwahati-29S.Kr.Bora, IFS
2. Kamrup WestKamrup West (T)Dibyadhar Gogoi
3. GoalparaS.F. GoalparaTungnung Muanthang, IFS
2.M.M. Sharma, IFSSouthern Assam Circle, Silchar4. Cachar, SilcharS.F. SilcharDilip Das
5. KarimganjS.F. KarimganjM.S. Sinha
6. HailakandiHailakandi (T)Sabya Sachi Sinha
3.A.H. Khan, IFSCSASFC, Guwahati-17. DarrangS.F. MangaldoiP.N. Chutia, ACF, i/c
8. North KamrupNorth Kamrup (T)M. Hussain
4.J.M. Kauli, IFSUASFC, Nagaon9. NagaonNagaon (T)Aftab Ahmed
10. Nagaon SouthC.A. Afforestation Division, HojaiRajib Kr. Das
11. DibrugarhDibrugarh (T)Suman Mahapatra IFS
12. GolaghatS.F. GolaghatP.K. Hazarika
5.S.K. Srivastava, IFSEastern Assam Circle, Jorhat13. JorhatJorhat (T)Amrit Kr. Das
14. DoomdoomaDoomdooma (T)S.K. Seal Sharma
15. DigboiLogging Division, TinsukiaG.N. Adhikari
16. SivasagarS.F. SivasagarR.K. Das
6.G.U. Basumatary, IFSWestern Assam Circle, Kokrajhar17. HaltugaonS.F. KokrajharR.N. Brahma, IFS
18. DhubriS.F. DhubriA. Kuddush, IFS
19. KachugaonKachugaon (T), GossaigaonC.R. Bhobora
7.T.V. Reddy, IFSLower Assam S.F. Circle, Bongaigaon20. Aie-ValleyS.F. BongaigaonG.U. Borbhuyan
8.D.M. Singh, IFSNorthern Assam Circle, Tezpur21. Sonitpur EastS.F. Sonitpur, B/CharialiKunja Hazarika
22. Sonitpur WestSonitpur (T)Dr. S. Singh, IFS
23. LakhimpurS.F. LakhimpurJ. Ahmed
24. DhemajiDhemaji (T)M.N. Duara
9.Bikash Brahma, IFSN.C. Hills, Haflong25. Hills, HaflongHaflong (T)D. Zaman, IFS
10.C.M. Sharma, IFSKarbi Anglong Autonomous District Council, Diphu.26. Karbi Anglong (E)DFO (T) K. Anglong (E)J.N. Hazarika
27. Karbi Anglong (W)DFO (T) K. Anglong (W)R.P. Singh, IFS
28. HamrenHamren (T)Mridul Kr. Dhar