Headlines 19/03/2024 13:47 CH

Vietnam's additional regulation on temporary use of forests from March 6, 2024

Minh Hân

On March 6, 2024, the Government of Vietnam promulgated Decree No. 27/2024/ND-CP on amendments to Decree No. 156/2018/ND-CP guiding the Law on Forestry 2017.

“Temporary use of forests” means the use of forests for the construction of temporary works for the construction of electricity network projects for socio-economic development for national and public interests according to construction and electricity laws and relevant laws, not converting the purposes of forests regarding the area of forests subject to temporary use.

Conditions for approval for schemes for temporary use of forests from March 6, 2024

According to the Decree, schemes for the temporary use of forests shall meet the following conditions for approval:

- There must be an electricity network for socio-economic development for national and public interests subject to an investment guideline decision, investment guideline approval, or investment project approval decision of a competent authority according to public investment, public-private partnership investment, and investment laws.

- In case the project aims to repurpose forests and use forests temporarily, there must be a decision on guidelines on forest repurposing (regarding the area of forests subject to repurposing).

- In case the project does not repurpose forests but aims to use forests temporarily, there must be a decision on investment guidelines, investment guideline approval, or investment project approval decision.

- Forests may only be used temporarily in case the project requires the utilization of the area of forests due to the unavailability of other land areas.

- It is mandatory to limit the area of forests subject to temporary use and deforestation in such an area (trees with a diameter of 20 cm or more from the ground to the 1,3 m mark of the tree trunk shall not be cut down).

- The area of forests subject to temporary use shall be inspected and assessed regarding its status, reserves, and impacts of the temporary use on the forest ecosystem. Impacts on forests, afforestation, and forest restoration shall be specified in detail in the schemes for the temporary use of forests.

- The time limit for the temporary use of forests shall be specified in the application for approval for schemes for the temporary use of forests, not exceeding the project implementation time.

- It is forbidden to carry out the temporary use of forests in strictly protected areas of special-use forests or areas of forests containing rare and endangered plant species;

- It is forbidden to take advantage of the temporary use of forests for deforestation, wild animal hunting, and wood and forest products extraction and transport contrary to laws and legalization of wood and forest products illegally extracted;

- It is forbidden to bring waste, toxic chemicals, explosives, flammable substances, potentially flammable substances, tools, and vehicles into forests contrary to laws;

- It is forbidden to construct, dig, excavate, cover, and block natural flows and other operations contrary to laws to change the structure of natural sceneries, destroy forest resources, forest ecosystems, and forest protection and development works.  

- Afforestation shall be immediately carried out in the nearest local afforestation season within 12 months from the end of the temporary use of forests prescribed in the approved schemes for the temporary use of forests, ensuring that the restoration of forest areas meets the forest formation criteria according to forestry laws.

See more details in Decree No. 27/2024/ND-CP of Vietnam, effective as of March 6, 2024.

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