The new General Law on Sustainable Forestry Development, approved in the Chamber of Deputies on March 7 by the majority of the PRI, PAN, PVEM, PES and Panal, opens the exploitation of forests and jungles in the country to private initiative - through figures such as commercial forest plantations - including so-called associated resources.
According to the opinion –objected by PRD, MC and Morena–, the associated resources are wild animal and plant species, as well as water, which coexist in a relationship of interdependence with forest resources.
The legislation justifies that it is about achieving sustainable forestry development and considers it a priority area of national development. Therefore, related public or private activities will have that character. The policy on the matter should promote the generation of added value. In addition, it proposes that the use of forest ecosystems be a permanent source of income and improvement of living conditions for their owners or possessors, generating a sufficient supply for social, industrial and export demand, as well as strengthening the productive capacity of the ecosystems.
With different positions, the deputies of Morena, PRD and MC assured that the content of the opinion was not known, they denounced the legislative execution because the Budget Commission, which was supposed to issue its opinion, was convened in the afternoon, when the opinion had already been approved in plenary session. Opponents questioned that the new law reduces forests to an economic means of profit and predation with production processes and value chains, but is not considered as a reserve for future generations.
With 238 votes in favor of the PRI, PAN, PVEM, PES and Panal, the initiative presented in September last year by Deputy Alma Lucía Arzaluz Alonso (PVEM), who was Secretary of the Environment during the government of the PRI Mariano González, was approved. Zarur in Tlaxcala.
In the rostrum, deputies Tomás Octaviano Félix (PRD) and Juan Romero Tenorio (Morena) denounced that the Environment Commission, which presented the opinion, lied in the drafting of the document, because it states that the Budget Commission presented an opinion in favor. However, Octaviano Félix stressed, that commission was summoned to discuss the point of view on February 28, which was postponed to Tuesday.
The Citizen Movement pointed out that the new norm contrasts with the prohibition, approved last year, of the change of land use of a land subject to fire until 20 years have elapsed and the regeneration of the ecosystem is verified.
With the modification, he explained, said change will be authorized if the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources accredits that the forest vegetation, not the ecosystem, has been regenerated, which would facilitate the commercialization of the land.
Regarding this point, the new law defines the change of land use in forest land as the total or partial removal of the vegetation from the forest properties to allocate them to non-forest activities.
The approved opinion includes the denomination forest use to allow the extraction carried out in the terms of this law of the resources of the environment in which they are found, including timber and non-timber.
It establishes that a commercial forestry plantation is the cultivation of forestry species established on temporarily forested agricultural lands or preferably forestry for commercial purposes.
The new law, which was sent to the Senate for discussion, grants state governments the authority to promote the participation of public, private and non-governmental organizations in projects that directly support sustainable forestry development.