The villagers are conserving the forest area in their village boundary for their daily-live necessities. The village leaders said in the workshop on village common forest (VCF) management, organized by Khagrapur Mahila Kalyan Samity (KMKS) and Center for Integrated Programme and Development (CIPD) in association with Maleya Foundation on 04-06 March 2014 at Khagrachari.

The village leaders developed action plans for further improvement of their respective VCFs in the workshop. It includes ensure the legal recognition of VCF, mapping, identify and monitor the flora and fauna of the forest areas etc. Present status of their VCFs, its nature and importance in the present local, national and international context, management and legal aspects and other possible areas of improvement, etc shared and discussed during the 3 days workshop.

Total of 33 participants of 8 VCFs from 10 villages of 03 hill districts were participated in the workshop. The VCFs are varying from 02-300 acres. The villagers are collectively managing more than 150 acres of forest areas in 10 villages. These forests are full of flora (trees, bamboos, herbal medicine and other plants) and fauna. The VCF provides trees and bamboos for repairing and building houses, herbal medicines, sources of forest food, fuel, etc for their daily use. In some villages, the villagers are maintaining collective funds from the income of the VCF and providing disadvantaged families and for their children’s education and medical treatments. The villages have already formed VCF management committees and using customary rules for management and supervision of their VCF Areas.
This workshop was organized to create a space for the village leaders to share their experiences of VCF management and its issues and concerns among themselves and help the participants to collectively understand the importance of economic, social, cultural, environmental and legal aspects for the conservation of the VCF. Mr. Sudatta Bikash Tanchangya, Secretary of Movement for Forest and Land Rights in CHT were the main resource person along with Mr. Dipujjal Khisa, Coordinator of Maleya Foundation and Ms. Monisha Talukdar, Programme Coordinator of KMKS, Ms. Uttara Tripura, Facilitator of CIPD among others were present in the workshop.