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Forest Department enforces new amendments for Forest Offenses

Posted: Wednesday, October 4, 2017. 11:30 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Forest Department today announced that with the logging season swiftly approaching, the department is reminding the public that any person found engaging in illegal logging will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

The Forest Department continues to enforce the new amendments to the Forest Act, which stipulate that:

  1. Any person in possession of specific timber species, such as Mahogany, Cedar, Rosewood, Santa Maria, Pine and others listed in the Second Schedule, may face imprisonment or be fined up to three times the value based on the (a) commercial price, (b) ecological value, and (c) rarity of the timber species. (calculations specified in Second Schedule)
  2. Any person caught with unlawful possession of any forest produce not included in the Second Schedule of the Forest Act may face up to $10,000 in fines and 12 months imprisonment. (Section 19, Forest Act)
  3. Any vehicle, vessel or equipment used in the commission of a forest offense will be confiscated and is liable to forfeiture to the Government of Belize. (Section 19, Forest Act)
  4. A maximum of $5,000 will be imposed for any counterfeit Forest Department stamps, licenses or the altering of stamps or licenses. (Section 20, Forest Act)
  5. Any person found committing the offense of damaging forest roads or waterways, now faces a maximum fine of $10,000. (Section 36, Forest Act)
  6. Any person, who obstructs an authorized officer under the Forest Act from carrying out duties, will face a maximum fine of $2,000. (Section 35, Forest Act)

In order to combat illegal and unsustainable logging, the Department is also instituting stringent measures for planning, processing, and monitoring of logging operations.

Consequently, loggers are advised to submit their applications before the deadline 30th November 2017.  Following this date, the Department reserves the right to refuse any late applications.

For more information regarding the Forest amendments and the other forest policies, please contact the Forest Department at 822-2079 or email at [email protected].

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