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Himachal Pradesh Participatory Forest Management


  •  The Indian Forest Policy of 1988 (MoEF, 1988) and the subsequent government resolution on participatory forest management (MoEF,1990) emphasize the need for people's participation in natural forest management.
  • The HP Govt. issued JFM Notification on 12.5.1993 for constitution of Village Forest Development Committees (VFDCs).
  • HP Participatory Forest Management Rules 2001for registration of VFDCs under Societies of Registration Act, 1860.
  • Since 2002-03, the National Afforestation Programme continues to be the flagship scheme of NAEB, in so much as it provides support, both in physical and capacity building terms, to the Forest Development Agencies (FDAs) which in turn are the main organs to move forward institutionalization of Joint Forest Management under participatory mode by involving two-tire set up as FDAs (Divisional level) and JFMC (at village level).
  • Under NAP, FDAs are required to be registered under Societies of Registration Act, 1860 and  Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC) are required to be registered/constituted as per the provision of the JFM orders in the State and in case there is no JFM orders, the JFMCs will be registered by CFs/DFOs.
  • State Forest Development Agencies (SFDA) were constituted as per MoEF guidelines in 2010 to act as Apex institution of all the FDAs in the state.

Table 1: Committees Constituted in HPFD under Various Projects/Schemes.


Name of Projects/Schemes


Name of Village Institution

No. of Village Institutions

Registered under


HP Forestry Project (HPFP)


Village Forest Development Committees (VFDCs)


JFM Notification dated 12.5.1993


Indo-German Eco-Development Project


Village Development Committees (VDCs)


JFM Notification dated 12.5.1993


IWD (Kandi) Project


Village Development Committees (VDCs)


Societies of Registration Act 1860


Sanjhi Van Yojana (SVY)

1998 Ongoing

Village Forest Development Societies (VFDS)


Societies of Registration Act 1860


Great Himalayan National Park

1993 Ongoing

Village Eco-Development Committee (VEDCs)


Director , GHNP


Mid Himalayan Watershed Dev Project

2005 Ongoing

Gram Panchayats




National Afforestation Project (NAP)

2010 Ongoing

Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMC)

963 JFMCs

Registered by CFs/DFOs as per the provision laid down in Revised Operational Guidelines, 2009 of NAEB.


Integrated Watershed Management Swan River Project

2006 Ongoing

Project Development Committees

Not available

Societies of Registration Act 1860


National Afforestation Programme (NAP)

In the year 2002-03, National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB) of the Ministry of Forests and Environment (MOEF), Govt, of India (GOI) initiated the National Afforestation Programme (NAP) with a broad objective of regeneration and eco-development of degraded forests. At present there are 1562 registered JFMCs out of which 963 JFMCs are active in carrying out the NAEB works in H.P. which are involved in execution of National Afforestation Programme.

Till the year 2009-10, FDAs were funded directly by the NAEB. However, in November 2009 revised operational guidelines were issued by the NAEB whereby it was enjoined upon the States to constitute State Forest Development Agency (SFDA) which was required to be registered as a society under Societies Registration Act. The chairperson of the SFDA would be Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Conservator Forests (PFM) would function as its member secretary. The hands from NAEB would be directly transferred to SFDA which, in turn, would transfer the funds to FDAs as per the Work Programme which would be approved by the NAEB. During 2010, SFDA H.P. was constituted and got registered under IIP Society Registration Act, 2006. From the year 2010-11 onward the NAP is being implemented in the state of Himachal Pradesh through SFDA. At present FDAs have been constituted in 36 territorial forest divisions, WL division Chamba and GHNP.

Table 1: Year-wise Achievements under the SFDA.





Expenditure incurred (Rs. in Lakhs)

2007-08 [only 11 FDAs]



2008-09 [only 9 FDA



2009-10 [only 7 FDA



2010-11 [only 36 FDA



2011-12 [only 36 FDA



2012-13 [only 36 FDAs



2013-14 [only 36 FDAs



2014-15 [only 36 FDAs




Participatory Forest Management

joint Forest Management is a national program through which communities have been involved in forest management since the 1990s1. There are over one hundred thousand Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) that are protecting and managing over 22 million hectares of forest lands in the country. Although initially JFM was supported through projects and initiatives of individual officers and NGOs, it was subsequently institutionalized through the National Afforestation Programme (NAP), a flagship scheme of the National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB), MoEF&CC, Government of India. Under NAP, a three-tier institutional structure has been developed with jFMCs (or Eco-development Committees (EDCs)) at the village level, Forest Development Agencies (FDAs), which are federations of the JFMCs, at the Territorial Forest/Wildlife Division level, and State Forest Development Agencies (SFDAs), which are federations of FDAs, at the state level.

JFM and institutions promoted through it are important from the climate change perspective as these are the core institutional structures suggested under the National Mission for a Green India, one of the eight missions formulated under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The Mission proposes revamping of JFMCs by reconstituting these as sub-committees of Gram Sabha and by devolving adequate powers to them for protecting and managing forests and deriving benefits from them2.

Joint Forest Management in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh has around two decades of experience with the JFM approach . i he state government issued the first JFM Notification in 1993 for constitution of Village Forest Development Committees (VFDCs). In 2001, Himachal Pradesh Participator)' Forest Management Rules were issued for registration of Village Forest Development Societies (VFDSs) under the Societies Registration Act. Subsequently - 2002-03 onwards - JFMCs were constituted and federated into FDAs at the Forest Division level with support from NAP. The JFMCs are registered with HPFD as per the provisions of the NAP guidelines, whereas FDAs are registered as Societies. The SFDA was constituted in 2010 in accordance with the central guidelines.