LISO contribution in the Forest Law, November 15, 2017
Summary of LISO’s opinion contributingto Law on Forest Protection and Development (Forest Law) to be submitted to the National Assembly Council of Ethnic Affairs on October 19, 2017 and the Compiling Committee
I. Forest Law should address the following concepts: - Living space - Spiritual forest of residential communities - Water protection forest of residential communities - Cultural and belief practices attached with forest; - Border forest…
General contents proposed for amendment to the 2004 Law on Forest Protection and Development:
1. The State recognizes, respects and secures common rights of all citizens including ethnic minorities:
- Ensure forest-dependent ethnic minorities to be allocated forest attached with land; Note: This article affirms the necessity of allocation of forest and land to ethnic minority people, which is a step forward in comparison with Article 27 of the 2013 Land Law that merely stated that the State creates favourable conditions for the ethnic minorities to have land for agricultural production.
- Ensure publicity, transparency and participation of households and residential communities in forestry activities, planning and allocation... with no discrimination in religion, belief and gender....
- Recognize residential community... as a forest owner;
- Recognize and respect living space of villages;
- Recognize village community forests...: Recognize spiritual forest as the type of special-use forest, and water protection forest as the type of protection forest;
- Households shall be ensured to be provided budget to protect protection forests;
- Residential communities shall be ensured to be provided budget to protect special-use forests and protection forests;
- Households and residential communities are entitled to be consulted upon the planning.