Native Forests Regulations

The Executive Power issued Decree 91/2009 regulating the Native Forests Law. The new regulation establishes, among others:

·         The broadening of the concept of Native Forests including developing forestry ecosystems and palm trees.

·         The obligation for each jurisdiction to update the zoning of Native Forests every five years.

·         A list of different activities that may be carried out on Category I Forests, including the maintenance and restoration of the environment, the recollection of natural resources without jeopardizing the ecosystem, and tourism. It also authorizes public works on Category I and II Forests, to the extent of the prior assessment of the corresponding environmental impact.

·         A rule of interpretation in favor of the preservation of natural forests.

·         Police powers for the Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development with the possibility of establishing a system to verify the compliance of the authorized operating plans, and requiring local authorities to report annually whether those plans will have negative effects on the environment.

·         Definitions of the infringements subject to penalties under the Native Forests Law.  

Furthermore, the Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development, by means of Resolution 256/2009, created an Experimental Program for Managing and Conserving Native Forests for the current year. This program is addressed to owners or legitimate possessors of pieces of land on which native forests are located, who are entitled to file a form informing a Management and Conservation Plan with each jurisdictional authority. Once approved, the plans will be forwarded to the Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development that will make a final selection of the admissible plans, giving special attention to plans presented by small producers, indigenous communities and the creation of new jobs. The owners and possessors of approved plans will receive a compensation for a term of up to three years from the National Fund for the Enrichment and Conservation and Native Forests.

For further information on this topic please contact María Morena Del Río