Illegal tree felling: how to report and what is the responsibility? Part I

12.05.2020

WHAT ARE TREES FOR?

Trees are vital. Greeneries make urban air cooler for 2-8 degrees Celsius. Each tree preserves up to 15 thousand liters of water per year. Metropolises save around 150 million dollars annually due to natural benefits of trees.

Conservation and multiplication of trees are the questions that regularly arise in Uzbekistan. Many believe that illegally cut trees are used as firewood or in furniture manufacturing.

What to be done if you suspect anyone of illegal felling? What are the penalties for uprooting trees? Below we have tried to wade through these issues.

MORATORIUM ON TREE FELLING

First of all, there is a moratorium declared on cutting valuable species of trees and shrubbery that is outside of the forest fund. The moratorium is in effect until January 1, 2021.

In all 78 species of trees and shrubs including sycamore, willow, oak, and cypress are classified as valuables (annex to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of February 18, 2020).

WHEN TREE FELLING IN LEGAL?

For several objective reasons total prohibition of tree cutting is impossible.  Therefore, the moratorium does not apply to trees and shrubs which are damaged, withered, or endanger the safety of people or their property. Reasoned decision of the local administration agreed with the State Ecology Committee is necessary for cutting and pruning. Nowadays this activity is carried out exclusively by the departments of local territories development.

Cutting is also possible during construction and reconstruction of buildings and communications. Decision of the local administration agreed with the State Ecology Committee is required for this process too. Trees and shrubs must be replanted to the extent possible. The lost ones must be compensated in the ratio of 10 saplings to one tree.  

OTHER CASES OF ALLOWED FELLING

Permission is not required for cutting sidebranches of trees within reasonable limits.

Moreover, cutting trees is allowed if they are being cultivated:

– specially for getting wood and fruits (for instance, poplar and other fast-growing species, mulberry plantations, fruit-trees);

– in plantations, or on property of  legal entities or natural persons.

ILLEGAL TREE FELLING

In all other cases cutting of trees is illegal.

Unauthorized logging can be spotted by the following signs:

– works are being done hastily, without warnings and preparations;

– lumberjacks refuse to provide official documents;

– workers do not have special uniform, machinery and tools.

 

(Photo Anonymous News)

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