'Oran Forum' is an independent and informal forum in which different stakeholders can discuss matters related to Orans. 'Oran' is a colloquial term used to describe 'conserved commons' of traditional pastoral communities in Rajasthan. They include woodlots, pastures, orchards, sacred groves, and habitats usually centred around springs and bodies of waters. Orans provide landscape connectivity and nourish human communities, livestock and biodiversity: birds (exp. peacocks, bustards, vultures and cranes); wild fruits and medicinal plants; vulnerable & endangered wildlife (e.g. leopards, tigers, the caracal); and endemic animal and plant species that are disappearing elsewhere. Being associated with local deities and customs, orans also play a cultural and spiritual role in these communities. Their estimated number in Rajasthan is over 25,000, supporting over 7.5 million pastoralists. Being governed managed by custodian communities, orans exemplify 'conserved commons'. 'Oran Forum' is network of over 1000 members representing indigenous & local communities, pastoralists’, activists, NGOs, academics, and other stakeholders across Rajasthan. Oran Forum was initiated by KRAPAVIS in the year 2008 to provide an opportunity for indigenous and pastoral communities to act on behalf of orans. The forum not only brings together a community with overlapping or shared concerns but also shapes a perspective on the future of Orans. This is also used as an “effective forum” with different stakeholders for discussion of in-depth matters and for safeguarding the long-term interest of communities in insuring the survival, growth and development of orans.
Executive body of the forum is composed of an advisory board consisting of a president, secretary and seven members. The present advisory board is composed of the following people:
|S. No.||Name of the Board Member||Designation|
|1.||Shri Aman Singh, Founder KRAPAVIS||President|
|2.||Shri Bhojuram Gujar, Community Leader & Scholar on Orans||Secretary|
|3.||Shri Vijay Dhasmana, Aravali Biodiversity Park||Member|
|4.||Shri Nitin Bathla, ETH Zurich||Member|
|5.||Dr. Dhirendra Devarshi, Professor- Zoology, MSJ College||Member|
|6.||Shri Sumersingh Bhati, Oran Community Representative Jaisalmer||Member|
|7.||Prof. Soumana Datta, Head of Botany Dept. Rajasthan University||Member|
|8.||Dr. Sitaram Verma, Senior Veterinarian Alwar||Member|
|9.||Dr. Archana Godbole, Director AERF & Member of IUCN's Commission||Member|
The forum is currently presided by the founding member of the convening organisation, KRAPAVIS. Officially, the president heads the forum and is responsible for execution of the decisions and for overseeing forum activities.
Building upon years of experience of working closely with oran communities, the board deliberates on the actions and strategy of the forum. The forum takes part in formulating plan of action to facilitate and empower local communities. The forums engagement with community is based on the foundations of engendering the development perspectives and is an assurance of greater role and control of communities. The forum undertakes the following activities:
1. Policy Issues on Oran: The forum undertakes policy research, the findings of which can help produce more ecologically and socially rooted rules, regulations and practices vis-à-vis orans. The following factors merit further consideration in the interests of strengthening the case for policy change:
Based on the above, an advisory document detailing potential policy/legislative changes are developed by the forum and submitted to the government.
3. Coalitions with existing networks: This initiative adopts a partnership-centred approach by linking activities with community-based organisations, non-governmental organisations, legal experts/agencies, private sector, government, State Biodiversity Board, research and academic institutions, and so on.