Forestry law

Forestry laws govern activities in designated forest lands, most commonly with respect to forest management and timber harvesting. Ancillary laws may regulate forest land acquisition and prescribed burn practices. Forest management laws generally adopt management policies, such as multiple use and sustained yield, by which public forest resources are to be managed. Governmental agencies are generally responsible for planning and implementing forestry laws on public forest lands, and may be involved in forest inventory, planning, and conservation, and oversight of timber sales. Broader initiatives may seek to slow or reverse deforestation.


Forestry laws are intended to protect resources and prevent forest clearing, logging, hunting, and collecting vegetation. However, there are no clear limitations set within these laws in regards to allowable cuts, harvesting rotations, and minimum harvesting diameters. Forest management plans state goals for the upkeep of the land, as well as steps to achieve them. foresters create management plans that account for each differentiated forest itself.

In some cases, plans are made with the assumption that ecosystems within a forest are holding a steady state, separate from the forest that surrounds them. Many foresters who are in third world countries do not have the knowledge nor training to follow by all the guidelines when making a management plan.[1]

Tongass national forest juneau img 7501
Tongass National Forest

Appropriate public policies and legislation serve to foster sustainable economic and social development in rural and urban areas. These policies work to safeguard the environment and protect flora, fauna and cultural heritage.[2] Traditionally, environmental protection has been an element of forestry through emphasizing forest conservation and accounting for environmental impacts on soil and water. In recent years, outside influences have had a substantial impact on the objectives of forestry and the contents of forest law. In common with other sectors, forestry has been affected by the emergence of environmental awareness and legislation in the last generation. This has brought greater emphasis on the protection of wilderness and aesthetic values.


Biological diversity and climate change have specifically influenced forest law. When forest management plans are created, biological diversity is represented in criteria for sustainability. Due to the Kyoto Protocol, the mitigation of climate change has become an objective of forest law and policy, complementing broader climate policies and programs. However, Rosenbaum and colleagues state that there is little legislation containing specific provisions for mitigating forest-based climate change.[3]

The connections between forest and other areas of law have become more complex as they have grown in ambition and scope and as other areas directly and indirectly place guidelines on how forests are managed or used. Thus the links between a country's forest laws and its general environmental laws become more important as the environmental dimensions of forest legislation increase in complexity.[3]

Forest legislation now recognizes the role of forests as a habitat for wildlife, a resource for grazing and agriculture, and a contributor to water and soil conservation. More recently, the general principles of environmental law and the more specific values of biological diversity have become a very visible part of forest law.[3] The UN Forum on Forests, an intergovernmental policy forum created in 2000, has adopted resolutions on the sustainable development of forests, especially those on Social and Cultural Aspects of Forest and Traditional Forest-Related Knowledge.[3]


Forest law is not easily adapted between countries, as there are immense variations in nature, importance, and role of forest resources, as well as legal and institutional settings. While there have been important comparative studies of trends in forest legislation, they seldom provide direct practical guidance on how to assess improve the law.

Actual practices differ from one country to the next, however, in all cases public forests are viewed as a national resource, that is, the sovereign property of the state. For example, even though most forest land in the United States and Canada is privately owned, a considerable amount is held by the state as a "public good" but systematically leased to private timber producers. In India, the Raj took ownership of virtually all forests, declaring them to be "wasteland" and, therefore, unowned. In Indonesia, forests are legally state owned but are treated as private property, while in Brazil, the lack of national government renders forests open access commons. In this role, the conservation of forests is tightly linked to the production of timber and other commodities that generate both capital and jobs, and the economies of large regions are almost wholly dependent on natural resource production from those forests.[4]

Forest Management and the impact on water resources a review of 13 countries.pdf
United Nations Forest Management Plan

New forest laws have been adopted in Eastern European countries as part of their transition to a market economy. These laws had considerable effect on the structure of forest land ownership, improvements in management regulations, and modernization of the forest sector's institutional framework. New forest legislation has also been developed in several countries in Western Europe in order to adapt to changing economic conditions, social demands, and more political participation of interest groups and citizens at local and regional levels.

Economic and social context

The evolution of forest legislation in the European Countries indicates that understanding of how natural resources are to be used in a sustainable manner depends on a given economic and social context. The meaning of sustainable forestry is determined by local circumstances and their significance has considerably changed over time. Today sustainable management is understood as forestry practices which respect the naturally given potentials of the ecosystems and maintain the diversity of forests in their typical landscapes. They leave multiple options for an increasing production of wood, protection of the environment, and recreation.

Regulation of use

Public provisions referring to forest uses over more than one generation are among the oldest forms of long-term environmental policies. Customary law, codified in the 14th century, regulated forest uses in accordance with the demands and options of their times. An increasing number of forest and timber ordinances, issued from the 16th century onward, followed. Meeting local needs, long-term availability of raw materials and energy, and increased outputs through better forestry practices were the issues at stake. Legislation established the requirement of a continuous flow of wood production, which meant stopping exploitation of what was available. It recognized the long-term nature of forests, and promoted the involvement of several generations in forestry activities. Increasingly, it provided for planning and management, and for measures of regeneration and reforestation. This introduced principles of utilizing renewable natural resources as a requirement for sustainability as we understand it today.[2]


New policies place responsibilities for, and powers over, wood fuel management into the hands of economically interested individuals and the Forest Service. The Forest Service maintains complete control of all production and management decisions through required approval and through control of the rules by which production and management can take place.[5]

The role of private forestry reaches up to over 80 percent of forest production in some countries. However, in many countries, private forestry has never been significant and, even when land has been privatized, the state has often retained the forests. In much of Africa, individual land ownership is relatively limited so that the closest approach to private forestry is usually community forestry (although South Africa and Swaziland, among other countries, have extensive private plantations). More recently, the values of farm forestry and of private capital and management have increased official interest in private forestry.[3]

Illegal forestry activities deprive governments of billions of dollars in tax revenues, as well as cause environmental damage and threaten forests. Forest related corruption and widespread violation of forestry laws undermines the rule of law, discourages legitimate investment, and gives unfair advantages. Money generated from illegal forestry activities has even been used to finance armed conflict.[1] Concern about the extent to which illegal logging has been contributing to forest loss has grown sharply since the 1980s. A very large proportion of the timber entering both national and international markets has been accessed, harvested, transported and traded in contravention of national law in countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Peru, Philippines, and Russia.

The World Bank (2002) estimates that illegal logging results in an annual loss of around US$10–15 billion in developing countries worldwide. Although it is anticipated that better governance, increased rent capture by the state, and improved forest management can all benefit the poor indirectly, the direct impacts of illegal logging and forest law enforcement on rural livelihoods have not been a priority consideration to date.[2]


The ways in which people use and value forests are changing. Growing populations, changing culture, technology, and science are increasing the demand for forest resources. In recent years forest laws around the world have been significantly revised in response to these changes.[3] However, the lack of information about who really uses forests presents a major problem to forestry policy makers and supportive development agencies that are mandated to adopt a pro-poor approach. Without clear data it becomes all too easy to overlook the interests of lower income individuals when designing policy interventions aimed at improving forest management or asserting forest law.[2] Some forest laws specifically favor poor rural households and ethnic minorities. Over the last few decades, many governments in Latin America recognized indigenous peoples' rights over large territories, but indigenous people often find it difficult to protect those territories from invasion by loggers, miners, and farmers.[1]

According to the World Bank, "more than 1.6 billion people depend to varying degrees on forests for their livelihoods. About 60 million indigenous people are almost wholly dependent on forests. Some 350 million people who live in or adjacent to dense forests depend on them to a high degree for subsistence and income. In developing countries about 1.2 billion people rely on agroforestry farming systems that help to sustain agricultural productivity and generate income."

Forest law enforcement initiatives should seek to address the full range of laws that relate to forests and forest-dependent peoples, and not just forestry laws; adopt a rights-based approach to forest law enforcement with due attention paid to strengthening human rights networks, improving the independence of the judiciary, promoting legal literacy among rural communities, and providing legal aid; be linked to governance reform programs aimed at creating public accountability and transparency in the management of natural resources; be developed through processes of broad engagement with civil society organisations and based on national governments’ commitments to reform.[2]

A large portion of forestry legislation focuses on administrative requirements, fees, taxes, and property rights, rather than on how forests are really managed.[1] Of particular importance to forestry is that, even where governments or colonial powers have been willing to recognize individual claims, based on custom or usage, to land used for agriculture or housing, they have generally ignored traditional-group rights to areas used in common, such as forest or pasture. By treating such land as “empty” during the process of settling rights, governments around the world have vested in the state ownership of vast expanses of forest land.[3]


Law enforcement is the last resort for obtaining compliance with the law. There are at least three approaches to overcoming the difficulties of proving offenses that have taken place in remote locations. One is to focus enforcement on more visible acts, such as transport. Another, common in civil law, is to make the official report of a sworn official admissible as evidence in further proceedings. This effectively shifts the burden of proof to the defendant. A third device is the use of evidentiary presumptions, which similarly shifts the burden of proof to the defendant.

In many countries the contrast between what forestry law prescribes and what actually happens on the ground is both stark and obvious. Even where the law is strong, illegal behavior by both public and private actors often continues. Some explanations for this are that forest departments lack the financial and human resources to monitor and control forest activities, which often take place in very remote areas; government officials entrusted with enforcing the law may be under immense pressure to condone violations, or engage in violations themselves; court systems are backlogged or bankrupt; the difficulties of daily life for the rural poor may overwhelm any likely risks associated with violating the law; etc.

These explanations underscore the point that while good forestry legislation is necessary, it is obviously not sufficient. The laws in many countries lie unused or underused for reasons like failure of political will, weak institutions, or even general disregard for the rule of law.[3]

History and development

In 1992, representatives of 180 of the world's nations met in Rio de Janeiro to consider, among other things, the adoption of an Agreement on Forestry Principles, entitled a "Non-legally binding authoritative statement of principles for a global consensus on the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests."

Scientific forestry was based on the precise measurement of the distribution and volume of wood in a given parcel, the systematic felling of trees, and their replacement by standard, carefully aligned rows of mono-cultural plantations that could be harvested at set times.[4]

The tendencies that become apparent from recent changes in forest laws and regulations in several European countries show a variety of approaches and may be judged from different point of views. Relevant criteria for analysis on the advancement of legislation are consistency, comprehensiveness, subsidiarity, and applicability.

Consistency requires the compatibility of forest regulations with constitutional values and democratic rules, with national policies addressing land-use, economic development and environmental protection, and with international commitments and multilateral agreements. Comprehensiveness refers to the objectives of forest legislation with regard to forest protection and forestry development, to different types of forest tenures, and to the rights and responsibilities of various categories of forest owners. Subsidiarity relates to the role of forests as national, regional and local resources. It also relates to the double nature of forests as private production means that may be used according to the decisions of land owners and as resources that yield numerous benefits to the community. Subsidiarity indicates to what extent public programs support the activities of land owners. Applicability refers in particular to the organisational framework of public forest administrations in relation to changing responsibilities and tasks, and to appropriate forms of participation of forest owners and interest groups in regulating forest uses and management practices. Coordination of competencies among public entities is an important aspect in evaluating the applicability of new or amended regulations.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Kaimowitz, D. (2003). "Forest law enforcement and rural livelihoods". International Forestry Review. 5 (3): 199–210.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Franz Schmithüsen; Peter Herbst; Dennis C. Le Master (2000). "Forging a New Framework for Sustainable Forestry: Recent Developments in European Forest Law". Vienna: IUFRO. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Christy, L., & Ebrary, Inc. 2007. Forest law and sustainable development addressing contemporary challenges through legal reform. World Bank, Washington, DC.
  4. ^ a b "Why Is There No International Forestry Law?: An Examination of International Forestry Regulation, both Public and Private [eScholarship]". Retrieved 2016-11-30.
  5. ^ "Participation Without Representation: Chiefs, Councils and Forestry Law in the West African Sahel". Cultural Survival. 1972-06-17. Retrieved 2016-11-30.
Brazilian Forest Code

The Brazilian Forest Code is a piece of legislation passed in 1965. There has been controversy over the code, mostly centered on legal requirement for landowners in the Brazilian Amazon to maintain 80% of forests as legal reserves. This particular requirement has never been effectively implemented and implementation has again been delayed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva until June 2011.

The original law, passed in 1965, required only 50%. Neither this nor the 80% requirement have ever been prosecuted. This had been expected to change with harsher and criminal penalties to be introduced in 2009. Then President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva however, delayed this until the post election period in 2011, though Presidential Decree number 7029.While the measure has never been formally adopted into law it has been estimated that other Government policies have reduced logging from 21.5 thousand square kilometers in 2002 to 7.0 thousand in 2009.

The code remains an enduring source of controversy for environmentalists and agriculturalists.Dilma vetoed 12 parts and made 32 smaller cuts to the rewrite in May 2012.On 28 February 2018, Brazil's Supreme Court upheld forestry law changes which comes as a blow to environmentalists trying to protect the world's largest rain forest. According to environmentalists, the revised laws which are also known as the forest code, would give a rise to illegal deforestation. Whereas the farmers and the agricultural lobby welcomes the new law and suggest that it is going to be pivotal for the growth of agricultural sector of the Brazilian economy.

Environmental cleanup law

Environmental cleanup laws govern the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, sediment, surface water, or ground water. Unlike pollution control laws, cleanup laws are designed to respond after-the-fact to environmental contamination, and consequently must often define not only the necessary response actions, but also the parties who may be responsible for undertaking (or paying for) such actions. Regulatory requirements may include rules for emergency response, liability allocation, site assessment, remedial investigation, feasibility studies, remedial action, post-remedial monitoring, and site reuse.

Different laws may govern the cleanup or remediation of varying environmental media. Spill response or cleanup requirements may be enacted as stand-alone laws, or as parts of larger laws focused on a specific environmental medium or pollutant.

Fisheries law

Fisheries law is an emerging and specialized area of law. Fisheries law is the study and analysis of different fisheries management approaches such as catch shares e.g. Individual Transferable Quotas; TURFs; and others. The study of fisheries law is important in order to craft policy guidelines that maximize sustainability and legal enforcement. This specific legal area is rarely taught at law schools around the world, which leaves a vacuum of advocacy and research. Fisheries law also takes into account international treaties and industry norms in order to analyze fisheries management regulations. In addition, fisheries law includes access to justice for small-scale fisheries and coastal and aboriginal communities and labor issues such as child labor laws, employment law, and family law.Another important area of research covered in fisheries law is seafood safety. Each country, or region, around the world has a varying degree of seafood safety standards and regulations. These regulations can contain a large diversity of fisheries management schemes including quota or catch share systems. It is important to study seafood safety regulations around the world in order to craft policy guidelines from countries who have implemented effective schemes. Also, this body of research can identify areas of improvement for countries who have not yet been able to master efficient and effective seafood safety regulations.

Fisheries law also includes the study of aquaculture laws and regulations. Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming, is the farming of aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants. This body of research also encompasses animal feed regulations and requirements. It is important to regulate what feed is consumed by fish in order to prevent risks to human health and safety.

Fishing industry in Laos

The fishing industry in the land-locked country of Laos is a major source of sustenance and food security to its people dwelling near rivers, reservoirs and ponds. Apart from wild capture fisheries, which is a major component of fish production, aquaculture and stocking are significant developments in the country. Historically, fishing activity was recorded in writings on the gate and walls of the Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang dated 1560. For many Laotians, freshwater fish are the principal source of protein. The percentage of people involved in regular fishing activity is very small, only near major rivers or reservoirs, as for most of the fishers it is a part-time activity.

Forest Law

Forest Law may refer to:

Forest law, a system established by William the Conqueror put in service to protect game animals and their forest habitat from destruction

Forestry law, laws governing activities in designated forest lands with respect to forest management and timber harvesting

Forest Law (Tekken), a playable character in Namco Bandai's Tekken fighting game franchise

Game law

Game laws are statutes which regulate the right to pursue and take or kill certain kinds of fish and wild animal (game). Their scope can include the following: restricting the days to harvest fish or game, restricting the number of animals per person, restricting species harvested, and limiting weapons and fishing gear used. Hunters, fishermen and lawmakers generally agree that the purposes of such laws is to balance the needs for preservation and harvest and to manage both environment and populations of fish and game. Game laws can provide a legal structure to collect license fees and other money which is used to fund conservation efforts as well as to obtain harvest information used in wildlife management practice.

Illegal logging

Illegal logging is the harvest, transportation, purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws. The harvesting procedure itself may be illegal, including using corrupt means to gain access to forests; extraction without permission, or from a protected area; the cutting down of protected species; or the extraction of timber in excess of agreed limits.

Illegality may also occur during transport, such as illegal processing and export; fraudulent declaration to customs; the avoidance of taxes and other charges, and fraudulent certification.

Kohl Mythos

The Kohl Mythos (myth or story) is a German observation ultralight aircraft, designed by Stefan Kohl, and produced by S.A.I. Aeronautica, later by German Aircraft GmbH and most recently by Officine Meccaniche Mingarelli (OMM). When it was available the aircraft is supplied as a kit for amateur construction or complete and ready-to-fly.The Mythos started out as the S.A.I. Aeronautica G97 Spotter. Later, production was moved to German Aircraft GmbH and the design sold as the German Aircraft Sky-Maxx. After unsuccessful marketing, the designer decided to have the aircraft produced himself under contract in Italy by Officine Meccaniche Mingarelli and it was then sold as the OMM M-7 Servator.The Mythos is intended for the observation role and in particular agricultural research, forestry, law enforcement, flight training, sightseeing, aerial photography and cattle mustering.

Line-item veto

The line-item veto, or partial veto, is a special form of veto power that authorizes a chief executive to reject particular provisions of a bill enacted by a legislature without vetoing the entire bill. Many countries have different standards for invoking the line-item veto, if it exists at all. Each country or state has its own particular requirement for overriding a line-item veto.

List of environmental laws by country

This article lists the most important national environmental laws by continent and country.

Lists of universities and colleges

This is a list of lists of universities and colleges.

Maryland Forest Service

The Maryland Forest Service in 1996 marked the 90th anniversary of forestry in Maryland, United States and the birth of what is known as the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. Although the service has been known by many names over nine decades, its mission has been consistent: "To conserve and enhance the quality, quantity, productivity and biological diversity of the forest and tree resources of Maryland."

Mining law

Mining law is the branch of law relating to the legal requirements affecting minerals and mining. Mining law covers several basic topics, including the ownership of the mineral resource and who can work them. Mining is also affected by various regulations regarding the health and safety of miners, as well as the environmental impact of mining.

National Green Tribunal Act

National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 is an Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It draws inspiration from the India's constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.

National forest (France)

A national forest (French: forêt domaniale) is a forest that is owned by the French state. This status originates with the Edict of Moulins of 1566. French national forests are managed by the National Board of Forestry (NFB) under the national forestry law, the successor of ordinances and regulations that have taken place since the time of Charlemagne "at the discretion of political, economic and demographic context of France, making the first state-owned natural forest areas whose management is rigorously controlled".

Outline of forestry

The following outline is provided as an overview of and guide to forestry:

Forestry – science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing forests and associated resources to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human and environment benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. Forestry accommodates a broad range of concerns, through what is known as multiple-use management, striving for sustainability in the provision of timber, fuel wood, wildlife habitat, natural water quality management, recreation, landscape and community protection, employment, aesthetically appealing landscapes, biodiversity management, watershed management, erosion control, and preserving forests as 'sinks' for atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Public trust doctrine

The public trust doctrine is the principle that the sovereign holds in trust for public use some resources such as shoreline between the high and low tide lines, regardless of private property ownership.

Transfer Act of 1905

The Transfer Act of 1905 (33 Stat. 628) transferred the forest reserves of the United States from the Department of the Interior, General Land Office to the Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Forestry.

Waste management law

Waste management laws govern the transport, treatment, storage, and disposal of all manner of waste, including municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, and nuclear waste, among many other types. Waste laws are generally designed to minimize or eliminate the uncontrolled dispersal of waste materials into the environment in a manner that may cause ecological or biological harm, and include laws designed to reduce the generation of waste and promote or mandate waste recycling. Regulatory efforts include identifying and categorizing waste types and mandating transport, treatment, storage, and disposal practices.

Ecology and

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