On 02nd October 2015, in Pleiku city, Gialai Province, Vietnam Forest organized a consultative workshop on draft of Forestry Law. Attending the workshop, there were a lot of representatives from different agencies, Vietnam Forest including Department of Legal Affair, Department of Inspection; Leaders of units of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, some forestry companies, Timber and Forest Product Association of 18 provinces in the central, highlands central and South East.
The workshop was organized to consult participants about the draft " Explanatory report on setting up new Forestry Law replacing Law of Forest Protection and Development in 2004 " and "Assessment report on impacts of Forestry Law " to complete the files which will be submitted to the appropriate authorities and the 9th Parliament.
The context of the workshop
The positive and negative effects of supplements and amendments of Law of Forest Protection and Development in 2004 were presented in the draft "Assessment report on impacts of Forestry Law”. At the workshop, option 3: Issuing new Forestry Law replacing Law of Forest Protection and Development in 2004 was selected as the best solution.
A law proposal being submitted to the Parliament need to have comprehensive and convincing arguments. At the workshop, participants discussed and gave several points which kept concerning during construction progress of Forestry Law:
Firstly, Law of Forest Protection and Development in 2004 are no longer appropriate to the real circumstance: the regulations lack of comprehension and overlap and even conflict with other laws like Land Law, Law of Environmental Protection , Law of Biological Diversity;
Secondly, Law of Forest Protection and Development in 2004 do not assign the chain of forestry clearly and completely, from the protection and development, management of forests to exploitation, transportation , processing , forest product trade which leads to the difficulties or obstacles in policy making , investment and development, enhancing the economic value of forest and evaluation of the achievements of Forestry;
Thirdly, the regulations do not clear the mechanism of implementation of the State's right as an owner for natural forest;
Fourthly, the rights of forest owners are not reflected in Law of Forest Protection and Development in 2004 which do not motivate the self-control in production, business and attract value investments in forestry;
Fifthly, the relationship of forest ownership should be reflected in the new law. Forests are natural resources or assets? The way how to value the forest?
Sixth, the legal status of community owning the forest are not officially recognized in Civil Law and they need to be considered as legal subjects.
Many comments of Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Timber and Forest Product Association were given in the workshop, especially the speeches related to contents: forest protection, policies on forest development to generate resources for the wood processing industry, community-based forest, trade and processing of forest products, implementation of payment of forest environmental services.
In conclusion, besides taking note the valuable comments when submitting the Parliament, the whole participants strongly agreed on the need of construction of Forestry Law according to the trend of social development.