The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023


The Forest (Conservation) Amendment Act, 2023 is an amendment of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. It was introduced in the Lok Sabha on March 29, 2023 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on July 26, 2023 and by Rajya Sabha on August 2, 2023.

The amendment states that it aims to achieve the national targets of Net Zero Emission by 2070 and maintain or enhance the forest carbon stocks through ecologically balanced sustainable development. It further mentions achieving the objective of the country to increase the forest cover for the creation of a carbon sink of additional 2.5 to 3.0 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent by 2030. It further declares that the short title of the Act can be substituted with Van (Sanrakshan Evam Samvardhan) Adhiniyam.


  1. Which category of land shall be covered under the provisions of this amendment?

    The amendment categorises only those lands that were notified as a forest according to the provisions of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 or were declared under any other law. It also includes the land that has been recorded in any government record as forest, on or after October 25, 1980, which was when the principal Forest (Conservation) Act was released.

  2. Which category of land shall not be covered under the provisions of this amendment?

    The Act exempts certain types of land under its provisions, such as the forest land situated alongside a rail line or a public road maintained by the government which provides access to habitation, rail, and roadside amenities up to a maximum size of 0.10 hectare.

    In addition to those, the Act does not cover forest land located within a distance of 100 kilometers along international borders or Line of Control or Line of Actual Control which is proposed to be used for construction for “strategic linear project of national importance” and concerning national security.

    The Act also exempts the land upto 10 hectares which was proposed to be used for construction of security related infrastructure as well as the land proposed to be used for construction of defence related projects, camps for paramilitary forces, or public utility projects by the central government as long as the extent of the projects does not exceed five hectares in a central government notified left wing extremism affected area.

  3. Who has the power to issue directions about the forest land?

    The amendment inserts a new section in the Principal Act to state that the central government may issue directions to any authority under the central government, state government or union territory administration, or to any central government recognised entity.

  4. Which non-forest activities are permitted to be carried out on forest land?

    The amendment – in addition to carrying out some activities in forest areas and other protected areas, such as establishing check posts, wireless communication, construction for fencing and bridges – also allows the establishment of zoos and safaris referred to in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, owned by the government. It also allows eco-tourism facilities included in the Forest Working Plan or Wildlife Management Plan or Tiger Conservation Plan or Working Scheme of that area.

    Focus and Factoids by Siddhita Sonavane.


Ministry of Law and Justice


Government of India, New Delhi


04 Aug, 2023