FIG Peer Review Journal


Application of Land Administration Domain Model to Recognition of Indigenous Community Rights in Indian Forests - Indian Forest Rights Act, 2006, examined with its Spatial Dimension (5562)

Tarun Ghawana (India), João Hespanha (Portugal) and Jaap Zevenbergen (Netherlands)
Eng. João Hespanha
Adjunct Professor
University of Aveiro
High School for Technology and Management of
Apartado 473
3754 – 909
Corresponding author Eng. João Hespanha (email: jphespanha[at], tel.: +351 611500)

[ abstract ] [ paper ] [ handouts ]

Published on the web 2012-03-08
Received 2011-11-01 / Accepted 2012-02-02
This paper is one of selection of papers published for the FIG Working Week 2012 in Rome, Italy and has undergone the FIG Peer Review Process.

FIG Working Week 2012
ISBN 97887-90907-98-3 ISSN 2307-4086


Recognizing the importance of protecting indigenous property rights, as acknowledged by worldwide organizations such as the United Nations, and specifically the poor and badly governed forested communities, this paper elected as its Use Case the implementation of the Indian Forest Rights Act from 2006. Historically, India has a large number of forest dwelling tribes or which are largely dependent on forest products for their livelihood. However, after gaining independence, Indian forests become property of the state and thus the right of residing or traditional collection of forest produces become illegal in a number of forest areas designated as reserved or protected forest areas by the government. This denied the forest dwelling tribes and other related tribes their historical rights to earn their livelihoods based upon forest produces. Finally, in 2006 through an extraordinary gazette, Indian government declared Indian Forest Rights Act for recognizing the traditional rights of such tribes to reside in and earn their livelihoods through forests. The background and current situation regarding the forest rights on ancestral lands and their habitat is first examined by literature review, followed by a modelling approach supported on the Land Administration Domain Model. The existing legislation is examined for its land administration aspects and related spatial dimensions with the aim to derive a specialized model applicable to the Indian Forest: IFR_LADM. From an initial set of definitions extracted from the Act, a functional, aspect-driven approach is followed. Each different aspect is first considered on its own iteration, before producing a comprehensive model where relationships and constraints are identified. To finalize the modelling, a number of Instance Level diagrams is depicted and described, in order to demonstrate how the IFR_LADM model can answer to specific, expected situations on the ground.
Keywords: Cadastre; Security of tenure; Access to land; Informal settlements; Legislation; Indigenous Property Rights; Land Administration Domain Modelling; Forested Communities