The draft forest law could actually end up spurring deforestation

This edition of Thirty-six is about a subject which is of particular relevance to states which have significant forest cover, forest-dependent people and businesses: the proposed amendments to India’s main law for forest conservation. So let’s get right to it.

As most Indians marked the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi last Saturday, the Union environment ministry quietly uploaded for public consultation, with a short 15-day deadline, a draft document which explains the kind of changes it is proposing to make to the Forest (Conservation) Act.

Passed by Parliament in 1980, the government’s stated intent for drafting the law was to …


Akshay Deshmane

Akshay is an investigative reporter and former writer at The Morning Context. Based in Delhi, he writes about the environment, public policy and economy from the lens of the pulls and pressures of an ambitious democracy. Akshay uses the right to information extensively for reporting stories of vital public interest. Over the past decade and more, he has worked for HuffPost India, Frontline, The Economic Times, Down To Earth and DNA.