Forest Conservation Act is an act to provide for the conservation of forests and for matters connected with protection of trees from illegal felling and destruction. This act covers all aspects of forests including reserve forests, protected forests or any forest land irrespective of its ownership.
There are five main clauses in Forest Conservation Act which guides through the use of forest resources and limit the harm to forest reserves. This act is extended to all the states of India except Jammu and Kashmir and it came into existence on 25th October, 1980.
The salient features of this acts are:
Restrictions on the use of forest land
State Government can not lease forest land or its portions to any private person or to any authority, corporation, agency or organization which are not managed or controlled by government.
A forest land can be cleared of trees (Which have grown naturally) only when this land is to be used for reforestation.
Constitution of Forest Advisory Committee
The central government may constitute an advisory committee that can guide the central government for the matters concerned with conservation of forests.
Offences by Government Departments and Authorities
If a person, authority or department is found guilty of committed an offence under Forest Conservation Act, he shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly as per the rules and act. The head of department or an authority or any other person can be render to any punishment if he proves that the offence was committed without his knowledge or he exercised his full power to stop the offence to be committed.