Posted: Monday, February 6, 2017. 3:58 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Belize’s new amendments to the Forest Act replace outdated sections of the forest legislation and impose increased fines and stiffer penalties for forest offenses. The changes are part of the Forest Department’s on-going efforts to strengthen law enforcement capacity to reduce increasing illegal forest activities, deforestation and degradation of our forest resources.
Illegal and unsustainable timber and non-timber extractions undermine Belize’s on-going efforts to curb deforestation and biodiversity loss. In light of this, the new amendments act as deterrents and help to strengthen the department’s legal capacity to tackle illegal logging and other related crimes. The Amendments specifically impose the following changes:
An amnesty period of two weeks (ending 20th February 2017), has been given, during which time anyone in possession of forest produce acquired illegally would have the opportunity to forfeit the material to the Forest Department without fear of being fined or prosecuted. Following the amnesty period, the Department will enforce the forest regulations under the new amended laws.
The Department is in the process of completely revising the forest legislation as part of its wider forest reform effort to strengthen legal framework, improve forest management and increase monitoring and enforcement of forest activities.
For more information regarding the new amendments, please contact the Forest Department at 822-2079 or email at [email protected].
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