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Since January 1, 2017, the new Forest Code of the Republic of Belarus comes into force. Exactly one year ago, on December 30, 2015, the document was published on the National Legal Internet Portal of the Republic of Belarus. All this time the specialists carried out a large-scale work on the development of a number of subordinate regulatory legal acts on forestry, designed to develop the basic provisions of the Code. Now we have to work on new rules.

Recall that the new version of the document was much broader than the current Forest Code. So it included the norms of three main decrees of the President regulating activities in the sphere of forestry: from May 7, 2007 No. 214 "Rules for the release of standing timber and its harvesting in the forests of the Republic of Belarus", September 9, 2009 No. 444 "On Approval of the Regulation on the procedure for granting forest land plots to legal entities for leasing and (or) use for forest management "and from July 7, 2008 No. 364" On approval of the Regulations on the procedure for the allocation of forests to groups and categories of protection, the transfer of forests from one group or categories aschitnosti to another, as well as the allocation of specially protected forest areas. "

As the most important and important developments, several areas can be distinguished:

  • The powers, rights and duties of subjects of relations in the field of use, protection, protection and reproduction of forests are specified;
  • The composition of forests has been changed, including the division of forests into categories of protection, depending on the functions performed by them;
  • The separate norms of the Code have been brought into line with the current legislation, terms have been clarified taking into account the practice of application, forestry terminology;
  • The term "illegal logging" is clarified, which will allow to divide the concepts of illegal logging without permits and with the availability of such permits, issued with inaccuracies;
  • Supplemented by existing norms regulating the issue of standing timber, lease relations in forestry, secondary forest use, harvesting of secondary forest resources, ie, a number of documents are combined into one comprehensive document.

Some changes affected the powers of the subjects of relations in the field of use, protection, protection and reproduction of forests. In particular, the powers of the Head of State on the functioning of the state forest protection of the Republic of Belarus have been expanded. The powers of the Government have been expanded with regard to the establishment of fees for secondary forest resources; Spurious forest management; Forest use for the purpose of cultural and recreational, tourist, other events. Additional authority is acquired by the Ministry of Forestry on the creation of plantation forest crops, requirements for their cultivation and cutting, approval of the procedure for the maintenance of forest plantations along the republican highways.

Great attention is paid to reforestation and afforestation in the new Forest Code. In particular, the goals, tasks and requirements of reproduction, increasing the productivity and quality of forests are clarified, rules are introduced to regulate the issues of forest seed production, which is the basis for improving the quality and productivity of forests, their ecological and biological stability. For the first time a separate chapter in the Forest Code is devoted to the seed production of forest plants: it determines its main tasks, establishes a list of selection-seed and selection-genetic objects, regulates the production and use of seeds of forest plants.

Noting the increasing volume of forest use in Belarus and the development of the forest services market every year, the Forest Code provides for legal entities conducting forestry the right to engage contractors to provide forest management services and forestry activities. Such relations should be built on the basis of a civil-law contract.

The new Code gives the person, leading the forestry, the right independently and promptly, without introducing appropriate changes and additions to the forest management project, to appoint and conduct a number of forest management measures aimed at growing highly productive and biologically stable plantations.

In addition, the new Forest Code establishes a clear list of state bodies that are given the right to control the use, protection, protection of the forest fund and the reproduction of forests. It is assigned to the Ministry of Forestry, the Department of Affairs of the President of the Republic of Belarus, the State Control Committee, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the State Inspectorate for the Protection of Fauna and Flora under the President of the Republic of Belarus.

A specific list of prohibitions of economic and other activities on the territory of the forest fund is being introduced. In particular, the forest fund prohibits:

  • Erection, operation, reconstruction, overhaul of burial, neutralization, storage of waste (with the exception of authorized places for temporary storage of waste);
  • Discharge of industrial, municipal, agricultural and other organizations' waste water into the forest fund, as well as snow containing sand and salt mixtures, livestock products of agricultural animals;
  • Washing of transport and other technical means;
  • Accommodation of cattle cemeteries;
  • The organization of summer camps for farm animals, storage facilities for storing fertilizers and plant protection products;
  • Pollution of forest fund by household and other wastes, chemical and other substances;
  • Economic and other activities that have a harmful effect on the forest or lead to its destruction.

Strengthening the forestry block in the forestry legislation with respect to the reproduction of forests, forest seed production, protection and protection of forests, as well as the responsibility of forestry institutions for carrying out work in the forest, will significantly increase the vigilance of forestry workers and will enhance the efficiency of forest management, compliance with forest legislation, natural resources.

A number of provisions of the new Forest Code are aimed at optimizing the ratio of the areas of protective, conservation and operational forests. In accordance with the ecological, economic and social importance of forests, their location and functions, the forests will now be divided into the following 4 categories:

  • Spiky-ache forest;
  • Recreational and health improving forests;
  • Protective forests;
  • Operational forests.

The new classification of the division of forests in Belarus brings us closer to international approaches in the distribution of forests according to the functions performed: neither our neighbors nor the countries of Western Europe have a practice of dividing forests into groups.

The account of forests is simplified. The functional membership of each forest area becomes more precise, which will allow improving the organization of the territory of forestry institutions and planning forest management activities. It is worth noting that the area of nature protection forests will increase from 14.2 to 18.7%.

In addition, the Forest Code establishes the specific features of forest management and forest management in forests of different categories of protection, in plantation forest cultures, in the border zone and in the border zone, in radioactive contamination zones, in forest fund areas provided for defense needs.