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The Environment and Climate Change Committee begins consultation on Forest and Nature Conservation Bill of Bhutan 2021

Posted on :05 January 2022

Today, the Environment and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) conducted its first consultation meeting on the Forest and Nature Conservation (F&NC) Bill of Bhutan 2021 with the officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF). The meeting was also attended by several other non-Committee Members including the Hon’ble Speaker as observers. 

 

The 11 Chaptered Bill comprises of new features like - Clearly specified Power & Functions of Ministry and Department; Investigation and enforcement powers to the forest officials; Scientific Authority and Management Authority, as required under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); Declaration and management of Protected Areas (PAs) and other management regimes; Criteria and authority for issuance of forestry clearance; Identification of different forest management regimes for clarity; Promotion of nature recreation and ecotourism in State Reserve Forest Land (SRFL); Provisions on Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) management measures; Allotment of subsidized timber; Effective regulation of forest-based industry (primary and secondary); and, Segregation of the civil and criminal offenses.

 

Several issues ranging from CITES, import of forest produce, stakeholder consultations at the grass-root level, availability and transport of timber, grievances with timber allotment, the threat to human life and livestock, provision on sokshing and issues related to it, kidu timber and issues with subsidized timber among others were raised and discussed in detail during the consultation. The ECCC members and other Hon. Members of Parliament present in today’s consultation meeting will now take it forward for wider public consultations during their constituency visits.

 

The ECCC was entrusted to review the F&NC Bill of Bhutan 2021 for Third Reading after it was introduced for First and Second Reading on 2nd December 2021 during the 6th Session of the Third Parliament. The National Assembly of Bhutan would like to thank Hon. Secretary and senior officials from the MoAF for the comprehensive consultation and we look forward to similar future collaboration and coordination.

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