The new edition of the Forestry Code of the Kyrgyz Republic is aimed at more effective management of forest resources and environmental protection. Changes in the Code have been approved by the country's leadership with the goal of implementing modern and progressive mechanisms for sustainable forest management, control, and protection.
Following the First National Forest Inventory, it was revealed that more than 1 million 115 thousand hectares of the country's territory (5.61%) are covered by forests, the majority of which are located within the State Forest Fund and under the management of the Forestry Service of the Kyrgyz Republic. Currently, around 200,000 people reside in this forested area, with approximately 1 million people living within 5 kilometers of the forests, who use forest products in various ways or participate in different forms of forest use. Approximately 277 thousand hectares of forests do not belong to the State Forest Fund and are not managed by the Forestry Service, but are actively used by the local population.
Changes in the Forestry Code of the Kyrgyz Republic aim to specify the concept of "forest" as a "complex of trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants," to which certain quantitative and qualitative parameters can be applied in case of losses and damages inflicted on the forest. Additionally, a significant innovation lies in updating the regulation process of planting and the legal status of forest crops, whether in state or private ownership.
The functions of forest management have been delineated in the Code. In practice, control, management, and economic activities related to forests will be divided between territorial bodies of the State Forest Fund and forestry’s depending on their legal status and responsibilities. As stated in the official announcement, this will eliminate conflicts of interest, "where forestry’s simultaneously carry out control and economic functions."
The Code has included new types of forest resource use, such as "providing forest land for the construction of energy installations using renewable energy sources, creating industrial plantations, reservoirs, and for fish farming." This amendment is intended to meet the increased demand for types of forest use and will allow forestry’s to increase their income.
The updated Forestry Code of the Kyrgyz Republic also more clearly defines the rights and responsibilities of forest users and strengthens the protection of their rights.
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