Forest Law of the People's Republic of China (2019)

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Forest Law of the People's Republic of China  (2019) 

(Adopted at the7th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on September 20, 1984; amended for the first time in accordance with the Decision on Amending the Forest Law of the People's Republic of China adopted at the 2nd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress on April 29, 1998; amended for the second time according to the Decision on Amending Certain Laws adopted at the 10th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People's Congress on August 27, 2009; and revised at the 15th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Thirteenth National People's Congress on December 28, 2019.)

Chapter I General Provisions
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Article 1

This Law is enacted for the purposes of implementing the ideal that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets, protecting, cultivating, and rationally utilizing forest resources, accelerating land greening, safeguarding forest ecological security, constructing ecological civilization, and achieving the harmonious coexistence of human and nature.

Article 2

This Law applies to the protection, cultivation, and utilization activities of forests, woods, and the management and administration activities of forests, woods and forest lands conducted in the territory of the People's Republic of China.

Article 3

The protection, cultivation and utilization of forest resources shall respect and conform with nature, in adherence to the principles of prioritizing the ecology and protection, combining protection with cultivation, and sustainable development.

Article 4

The State shall adopt target-oriented responsibility and performance evaluation system for the protection and development of forest resources. People's governments at next higher level shall evaluate the performance of people's governments at next lower level in achieving the targets of the protection and development of forest resources, forest fire prevention, and major forest pest control, and disclose the evaluation results.

Local people's governments may establish forest director system based on needs for the protection and development of forest resources in their respective administrative areas.

Article 5

The State shall take fiscal, tax, financial, and other measures to support the protection and development of forest resources. The people's governments at all levels shall guarantee investments in the protection and restoration of the forest ecology, and promote forestry development.

Article 6

With the objective of fostering a stable, healthy, high-quality, and efficient forest ecosystem, the State shall implement categorized management and administration system of public welfare forests and commercial forests, highlight leading functions, exert multiple functions, and achieve the sustainable utilization of forest resources.

Article 7

The State shall establish a compensation system for ecological benefit of forests, increase the support for the protection of public welfare forests, improve the transfer payment policy for key ecological functional zones, and guide the people's governments in beneficiary areas and forest ecological protection areas in providing compensation for ecological benefits through consultation or other means.

Article 8

The State Council and the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government may, in accordance with the provisions on the rights to autonomy of national autonomous areas stipulated by the State, implement preferential policies for forest protection and forestry development in national autonomous areas.

Article 9

The competent authority of forestry of the State Council shall be in charge of the forestry work nationwide. The competent authorities of forestry of local people's governments at or above the county level shall be in charge of the forestry work in their respective administrative areas.

The people's governments at the village and township level may designate relevant institutions or appoint full-time and part-time personnel to undertake forestry-related work.

Article 10

Afforestation and forest protection is the obligation that citizens shall fulfill. People's governments at all levels shall organize and conduct tree-planting activities by all citizens.

Tree Planting Day is on March 12 every year.

Article 11

The State shall take measures to encourage and support scientific research on forestry, to popularize advanced and applicable forestry technologies, and to upgrade the scientific and technological level in forestry.

Article 12

The people's governments at all levels shall strengthen publicity, education, and dissemination of knowledge of the protection of forest resources, and encourage and support autonomous grassroot organizations, news media, forestry enterprises and institutions, and volunteers, among others, in conducting publicity campaigns on forest resources protection.

Competent authorities of education and schools shall educate students on the protection of forest resources.

Article 13

Any organization or individual that has made remarkable achievements in afforestation and land greening, forest protection, forest management and administration and forestry scientific research shall be commended and rewarded in accordance with the relevant provisions stipulated by the State.

Chapter II Forest Rights
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Article 14

Forest resources are owned by the State, except those that shall be collectively owned as prescribed by law.

The ownership of state-owned forest resources shall be exercised by the State Council on behalf of the state. The State Council may authorize the competent authority of natural resources of the State Council to uniformly perform the duties as the owner of state-owned forest resources.

Article 15

The ownership and usufructuary rights of forest lands and forests and woods thereon, shall be uniformly registered and compiled and granted with certificates by the real property registration institutions. The competent authority of natural resources of the State Council shall be in charge of registering forests, woods and forest lands of the key state forest regions designated by the State Council (hereinafter referred to as "key forest regions").

The lawful rights and interests of the owners and users of forests, woods and forest lands shall be protected by law, and shall not be infringed by any organization or individual.

The owners and users of forests, woods and forest lands shall protect and rationally utilize forests, woods and forest lands in accordance with law, and shall not illegally change the use of forest lands or destruct forests, woods and forest lands.

Article 16

State-owned forest lands and the forests and woods thereon may be designated in accordance with law to forest managers for uses. Usufructuary rights to state-owned forest lands and the forests and woods thereon acquired by forest managers in accordance with law may be transferred, leased, and contributed to capital at appraised value, among others, with approval. Specific measures shall be formulated by the State Council.

Forest managers shall perform their obligations to protect and cultivate forest resources, ensure the stable increase of state-owned forest resources, and improve the ecological functions of forests.

Article 17

Where collective-owned forest lands and state-owned forest lands used by collective farmers in accordance with law (hereinafter referred to as the "collective forest lands") are contracted out to individuals, the contractor shall be entitled to the rights of contractual management of forest lands and the ownership of the woods on the forest lands subject to the contractual management, unless otherwise provided by contract. The contractor may circulate in accordance with law his or her right to management of the forest lands and ownership and usufructuary rights of the woods by leasing (subcontracting), in payment for shares, transfer, and other means.

Article 18

Collective forest lands not contracted out to individuals and the woods thereon, shall be managed in a unified manner by the rural collective economic organization. With consent of over two-thirds majority vote of the villagers' committee or over two-thirds of villagers' representatives and subsequent public notification, the right to management of the forest lands and ownership and usufructuary rights of the woods may be circulated in accordance with law by bidding, auction, public consultation, and other means.

Article 19

For the circulation of the right to management of the collective forest lands, a written contract shall be signed. The contract for the circulation of the right to management of the forest lands generally contains the rights and obligations of both parties to the circulation, period of circulation, price of circulation and methods of payment, disposition of woods and fixed production facilities on the forest lands upon the expiration of the period of the circulation, liability for breach of contract.

Where a transferee violates the laws or the contract, causing serious damage to the forests, woods, or forest lands, the contractee or contractor shall be entitled to withdraw the right to management of the forest lands.

Article 20

For the woods planted by state-owned enterprises, public institutions, government agencies, groups, and the military, the planting organizations shall conduct tending of woods, and dispose the benefits generated from the woods in accordance with the provisions issued by the State.

The woods planted by rural residents at house sides and on plots of cropland and hilly lands allotted for private use are owned by the individuals. The woods planted by urban residents in the courtyards of their own houses are owned by the individuals.

The woods planted in state-owned or collective-owned barren hills, lands, and beaches suitable for forests under a contract awarded to a collective or an individual, are owned by the collective or individual, unless otherwise provided by contract.

The woods planted by any other organization or individual are owned by the planter in accordance with law, and the planter shall be entitled for the benefits gained from the woods, unless otherwise provided by contract.

Article 21

Where the expropriation or requisition of forest lands and woods are compellingly entailed by the public interest such as ecological protection and infrastructure construction, approval procedures shall be completed in accordance with the laws and administrative regulations such as the Land Administration Law of the People's Republic of China, and equitable and reasonable compensation shall be made.

Article 22

Any dispute over ownership and usufructuary rights of forest lands and woods between organizations shall be settled by the people's government at or above the county level in accordance with law.

Any dispute over ownership of woods and usufructuary rights of forest lands between individuals or between individuals and organizations shall be settled by the people's government at village or township level or the people's government at or above the county level in accordance with law.

Any party dissatisfied with the settlement decisions of the relevant people's government may file a litigation before people's court within 30 days of receiving the notice of the settlement decision.

Before dispute over the rights to woods and forest lands is settled, neither party may fell the woods in dispute or change the status of the forest lands, except for the need of forest fire prevention, forest pest control, and major national infrastructure construction, among others.

Chapter III Development Plans
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Article 23

The people's governments at or above the county level shall integrate forest resources protection and forestry development into their national economic and social development plans.

Article 24

The people's governments at or above the county level shall implement the requirements for spatial development and protection, rationally plan the structure and pattern of the protection and utilization of forest resources, formulate objectives of the protection and development of forest resources, increase forest coverage and forest stock volume, and improve the quality and stability of forest ecosystem.

Article 25

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level shall formulate forestry development plans in accordance with the objectives of the protection and development of forest resources. A forestry development plan at the lower level shall be prepared in accordance with a forestry development plan at the higher level.

Article 26

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level may , in light of local actual circumstances, formulate special plans in relation to the protection and utilization of forest lands, afforestation and land greening, forest management, protection of natural forests.

Article 27

The State shall establish a forest resources survey and monitoring system to survey, monitor, assess the current status and changes of forest resources nationwide, and publish the results regularly.

Chapter IV Forest Protection
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Article 28

The State shall strengthen the protection of forest resources and exert the various functions of forests such as water and soil conservation, climate regulation, environmental improvement, biodiversity conservation, and forest products supply.

Article 29

Central and local finance authorities shall respectively arrange funds for the planting, tending, protection, and management of public welfare forests and for the financial compensation payable to right holders of non-state owned public welfare forests, and the funds must be used exclusively for the specified purpose. The specific measures shall be formulated by the finance department of the State Council in conjunction with the competent authority of forestry.

Article 30

The State shall support the transformation and development of key forest regions and the protection and restoration of forest resources, improve production and living conditions, and promote the economic and social development of the regions where they are located. Key forest regions shall be entitled for policies such as transfer payments for key national ecological functional areas according to relevant provisions.

Article 31

The State shall establish natural reserve system with national parks as its main body in typical forest ecological regions, forest regions wherein rare and precious animals and plants grow and breed, natural tropical rain forest regions and other natural forest regions with special values of protection in different natural zones, so as to strengthen protection and management.

The State shall support the protection and restoration of forest resources in ecologically fragile areas.

People's governments at or above the county level shall take measures to protect wildlife resources with special values.

Article 32

The state shall implement comprehensive protection system for natural forests, strictly limit the felling of natural forests, strengthen the capability-building of managing and protecting natural forests, protect and restore natural forest resources, and gradually improve the ecological functions of natural forests. Specific measures shall be formulated by the State Council.

Article 33

Local people's governments at all levels shall arrange their relevant competent authorities to establish forest protection organizations responsible for forest protection; construct forest protection facilities based on actual needs and strengthen protection of forest resources; and supervise and urge relevant organizations to make a forest protection covenant, organize mass forest protection, designate forest protection responsibility areas and assign full-time or part-time forest rangers.

The people's governments at the county level or at the village or township level may employ forest rangers whose main responsibilities are to patrol and protect forests, and, upon detecting forest fires, forest pests or activities destructing forest resources, to promptly handle the situation and report to local forestry and other relevant authorities.

Article 34

Local people's governments at all levels shall be responsible for forest fire prevention in their respective administrative areas and bring mass prevention into play; and people's governments at or above the county level shall arrange for and lead emergency management, forestry, public security, and other competent authorities to closely cooperate in prevention, fighting, and disposal of forest fires in a scientific manner in accordance with their respective responsibilities:

(1) Organizing publicity campaigns of forest fire prevention to disseminate knowledge of forest fire prevention;

(2) Designating forest fire prevention zones and prescribing forest fire prevention periods;

(3) Installing fire prevention facilities and setting up firefight equipment and materials;

(4) Establishing forest fire monitoring and early warning system to eliminate hidden risks in a timely manner;

(5) Developing emergency plans for forest fires so as to immediately organize a fire fighting in case a forest fire occurs; and

(6) Guaranteeing funds required to prevent and fight forest fires.

The national comprehensive fire prevention and fighting and rescue force shall be responsible for the forest fire fighting and rescue tasks and prevention-related works as prescribed by the State.

Article 35

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level shall be responsible for the monitoring, quarantine, and prevention and control of forest pests in their respective administrative areas.

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the provincial level shall be responsible for the determination of quarantine pests of forest plants and their products, and designating epidemic areas and protected areas.

Local people's governments shall be responsible for the prevention and control of major forestry pest disasters. In the event of an explosive, hazardous, or other major forestry pest disasters, local people's government shall promptly organize the eradication of the disasters.

Forestry managers shall, with the supports and guidance of the government, prevent and control forestry pests within the scope of their management.

Article 36

The State shall protect forest lands, strictly control the conversion of forest lands to non-forest lands, exercise control over the total amount of forest land occupation, so as to ensure that the amount of forest lands is not to decline. The forest lands occupied by various construction projects shall not exceed the quota of total amount of forest land occupation control in the administrative area.

Article 37

Mineral exploration, mining, and other project constructions shall occupy no or minimum forest lands; and where occupying forest lands is indeed necessary, the approval of the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level shall be obtained, and the approval procedures for construction land shall be completed in accordance with law.

Entities occupying forest lands shall pay the fees for forest vegetation restoration. Measures for the administration of the collection and use of forest restoration fees shall be formulated by the finance department of the State Council in conjunction with the competent authority of forestry.

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level shall arrange afforestation to restore the forest vegetation in accordance with regulations, and the area of afforestation shall be no less than the reduced area due to the occupation of forest lands. Competent authorities of forestry at the higher level shall regularly supervise and urge competent authorities of forestry at the lower level to organize afforestation and forest vegetation restoration, and conduct inspections.

Article 38

Where the temporary use of forest lands is required, the approval of the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level shall be obtained; and the period of temporary use of forest lands shall generally not exceed two years, and no permanent building be constructed on the forest lands in temporary use.

Within one year after the expiration of the temporary use of forest lands, the organization or individual using the lands shall restore the vegetation and forestry production conditions.

Article 39

Deforestation and reclamation, stone quarrying, sand quarrying, soil excavation, and other acts of destructing woods and forest lands are prohibited.

Discharging into forest lands sewage and sludge containing heavy metals or other toxic and hazardous substances in excess of standards and dredged sediment, tailings, slag, and the like that may pollute the forest lands are prohibited.

The harvest of firewood, destruction of seedlings, and grazing in young forest lands are prohibited.

Relocation or destruction of forest protection signs without authorization is prohibited.

Article 40

The State shall protect ancient, famous, rare and precious woods. Destructing ancient, famous, and rare and precious woods and their natural environment is prohibited.

Article 41

The people's governments at all levels shall strengthen the construction of forestry infrastructures and apply advanced and applicable scientific and technological means, so as to improve their capabilities for forest fire prevention, forest pest prevention and control, and other capabilities for forest management and protection.

All relevant organizations shall strengthen forest management and protection. State-owned forestry enterprises and public institutions shall increase investments, strengthen forest fire prevention and forest pest prevention and control, and prevent and stop destruction activities to forest resources.

Chapter V Afforestation and Land Greening
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Article 42

The State shall coordinate urban and rural afforestation and land greening, carry out large-scale land greening campaigns, green and beautify urban and rural areas, promote construction of forest cities, facilitate rural revitalization, and build a beautiful homeland.

Article 43

The people's governments at all levels shall organize all sectors of industry, and urban and rural residents to engage in afforestation and land greening.

State-owned barren hills, lands, and beaches suitable for forests shall be afforested and greened as organized by the competent authorities of forestry and others of the people's governments at or above the county level; while those collective-owned, by collective economic organizations.

For the planned urban areas, both sides of railways and highways, banks of rivers, and the vicinity of lakes and reservoirs, the relevant competent authorities shall organize afforestation and land greening according to the relevant provisions, in the light of local conditions; and for industrial and mining areas, industrial parks, government agencies, lands for school use, barracks, farms, ranches, and fisheries, the respective organizations shall be responsible for afforestation and land greening. Specific measures for organizing urban afforestation and land greening shall be formulated by the State Council.

State-owned and collective-owned barren hills, lands, and beaches suitable for forests may be afforested and greened by organizations or individuals on a contract basis.

Article 44

The State encourages citizens to participate in afforestation and land greening by planting trees, tending and protecting, funding and donating afforestation and cultivation, or other means.

Article 45

The people's governments at all levels, when organizing afforestation and land greening, shall make scientific plans, adapt to local conditions, optimize the compositions of forest types and species, encourage the use of native tree species and fine breed tree varieties, grow mixed forests, and enhance the quality of afforestation and land greening.

Afforestation and land greening projects invested by the state or mainly invested by the State shall use fine breed tree varieties in accordance with State regulations.

Article 46

The people's governments at all levels shall adopt measures focusing on natural restoration, combining natural restoration with artificial restoration, and scientifically protect and restore forest ecosystems. Newly planted young forests lands and other places where mountain closure is needed, shall be so closed by the local people's governments.

People's governments at all levels shall, in a planned way, organize the restoration of cultivated land to forest or grass for the cultivated land that needs ecological restoration, in the forms of sloping land, heavily desertification land, severely rocky desertification land and heavily polluted land, as determined by the State Council.

The people's governments at all levels shall implement forest ecological restoration projects to restore vegetation in respect of natural factors-induced deserted and damaged mountains, degraded forest lands, and barren hills, lands, and beaches suitable for forests, in light of local conditions.

Chapter VI Management and Administration
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Article 47

The State shall designate, according to the needs for ecological protection, the forest lands and the forests thereon with important ecological location or in ecologically fragile conditions, for the main purpose of ecological benefits, as the public welfare forests. Forest lands and the forests thereon not so designated are commercial forests.

Article 48

The public welfare forests shall be designated and promulgated by the State Council and the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government.

Forest lands and the forests thereon in the following areas shall be designated as public welfare forests:

(1) The catchment areas of the origins of important rivers;

(2) The riverbanks areas of main stream and tributaries of important rivers and drinking water sources reserve areas;

(3) The vicinities of important wetlands and reservoirs;

(4) Nature reserves for forests and terrestrial wildlife;

(5) The backbone forest belts of windbreak and sand-fixation forests in areas subject to severe desertification and soil erosion;

(6) The backbone forest belts of coastal shelterbelt forests;

(7) Undeveloped primeval forest areas; and

(8) Other areas required to be designated.

Where the designation of public welfare forests involves non-state owned forest lands, a written agreement shall be concluded with right holders, with reasonable compensation to the right holders.

Any adjustment to the designation of public welfare forests shall be subject to the approval of the original designating competent authorities, and be publicly announced.

Measures for the designation and administration of public welfare forests at national level shall be formulated by the State Council; and measures for the designation and administration of public welfare forests at local level shall be formulated by the people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government.

Article 49

The State shall provide strict protection for the public welfare forests.

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level shall, in a planned way, arrange public welfare forest managers for adopting forest stand improvement, forest tending, and other measures in relation to low-quality and low-benefit public welfare forests with trivial ecological functions such as sparse forests and defective forests, so as to improve the quality and ecological protection functions of the public welfare forests.

Under the premise of meeting the requirements for the importance of ecological location and not affecting the ecological functions of the public welfare forests, forest land resources and landscape resources of the public welfare forests may, upon scientific justification, be rationally utilized, to moderately develop forest-floor economy and forest tourism. The utilizing of public welfare forests of the above activities shall be in strict accordance with the relevant regulations of the State.

Article 50

The State shall encourage the development of the following commercial forests:

(1) Forests with timber production as the main purpose;

(2) Forests for the main purpose of forest produce, including fruits, oils, beverages, food ingredients, industrial raw materials, medicines;

(3) Forests with production of fuels and other biomass energy as the main purpose; and

(4) Other forests with economic benefits as the main purpose.

The State, under the premise of ensuring ecological security, shall encourage the development of timber forests of fast-growing and high-yield, precious species and large-diameter trees so as to increase timber reserves and ensure the security of timber supply.

Article 51

Commercial forests shall be independently managed by forest managers in accordance with law. On the premise of not damaging the ecology, intensive management measures may be taken for the rational utilization of forests, woods and forest lands and the improvement of the economic benefits of commercial forests.

Article 52

For the construction of any of the following engineering facilities providing direct serves for forestry production and management on forest lands, where the standards required by the relevant competent authorities of State are met, the approval of the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level shall be obtained, and the approval procedures for construction land are waived; and where forest lands are occupied in excess of the standards, the approval procedures for construction land shall be completed in accordance with law:

(1) Facilities for the breeding or production of seeds or nursery stock;

(2) Facilities for the storage of seeds, nursery stock, or timbers;

(3) Skidding trails, logging trails, fire break patrol trails, and forest trails;

(4) Facilities for forestry scientific research and popular science education;

(5) Facilities for wild fauna and flora protection, forest protection, prevention and control of forest pests, forest fire prevention, and timber quarantine;

(6) infrastructures of supplying water, power, heat and gas, and of communication; and

(7) Other engineering facilities providing direct serves for forestry production.

Article 53

State-owned forestry enterprises and public institutions shall prepare forest management plans, specify measures for the cultivation, management, and protection of forests, and implement the measures with the approval of the competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level. The forest management plans for key forest areas shall be implemented with the approval of the competent authority of forestry of the State Council.

The State shall support and guide other forest managers on preparing forest management plans.

Specific measures for the preparation of forest management plans shall be formulated by the competent authority of forestry of the State Council.

Article 54

The state shall strictly control annual quota of forest felling. The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government shall prepare annual felling quotas for their respective administrative areas based on the principles of consumption lower than growth and of management and administration by forest categories, solicit comments from the competent authorities of forestry of the State Council, announce publicly and implement the quotas upon the approval by the people's governments at the same level, and submit the quotas to the State Council for the record. The annual felling quotas for the key forest areas shall be prepared by the competent authority of forestry of the State Council, and announced publicly and implemented upon the approval of the State Council.

Article 55

Felling of forests and woods shall be in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) Public welfare forests may be felled only for tending, regeneration, and improvement of low-quality and low-benefit forests. Exceptionally, public welfare forests may be felled for the purposes of scientific researches or experiments, prevention and control of forest pests, construction of forest fire prevention facilities, construction of biological firebreaks, and natural disasters, among others.

(2) For commercial forests, different felling methods shall be adopted based on different circumstances, the area of clear-cutting shall be strictly controlled, and felling and tending shall be concurrently planned and implemented.

(3) The felling of woods in nature reserves shall be prohibited. An exception is made for woods that must be felled because of special circumstances such as prevention and control of forest pests, forest fire prevention, maintenance of the living environment of main protected objects, and under natural disasters, and for bamboo forests that are located in experimental zones.

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the provincial level shall formulate corresponding technical protocols on tree felling, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, in the light of principles such as management and administration by forest categories, prioritizing protection, and emphasis on efficiency and benefits, among others.

Article 56

For the felling of the woods on forest lands, a felling license shall be applied for, and the felling shall be conducted in accordance with the specifications of the felling license; and for the felling of bamboo forests outside nature reserves, a felling license is not required, but the technical protocols on tree felling shall be met.

Rural residents that are to fell the scattered trees on plots of cropland allotted for private use and at house sides, are not required to apply for a felling license.

The regeneration felling of farmland protection forests, windbreak and sand fixation forests, road protection forests, riverbank and dike protection forests, and urban forests, among others, on non-forest lands shall be administrated by relevant competent authorities in accordance with relevant provisions.

Digging and transplantation of woods shall be administrated as the felling of woods. Specific measures shall be formulated by the competent authority of forestry of the State Council.

Forging, altering, trading, and leasing felling licenses are prohibited.

Article 57

Felling licenses shall be issued by the competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level.

The competent authorities of forestry of the people's governments at or above the county level shall take measures to facilitate applicants in applying for felling licenses.

For rural residents to fell the woods on their plots of hilly lands allotted for private use and on contracted collective land, felling licenses shall be issued from the competent forestry authorities of the people's governments at county level, or people's governments at village and township level entrusted by them.

Article 58

When applying for a felling license, documents concerning felling locations, forest types, tree species, area, stock volume, methods, regeneration measures, forest rights, and other contents shall be submitted. Where the area or volume exceeds those specified by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the provincial level, survey and design documents for the felling zone shall also be submitted.

Article 59

Where the technical protocols on tree felling are met, the competent authorities in charge of approval and issuance of felling licenses shall issue a felling license in a timely manner. However, the competent authorities in charge of approval and issuance of felling licenses shall not issue felling licenses exceeding the annual felling quota.

Article 60

Under any of the following circumstances, no felling license may be issued:

(1) Felling woods during the periods of mountain closures or within the areas of mountain closures;

(2) The tasks of forest regeneration have not been completed as required after the felling in the previous year;

(3) No measures have been taken for prevention and improvement since a major deforestation case, forest fire, or forest pest disaster took place in the previous year; and

(4) Other circumstances prohibiting felling as specified by laws and regulations, and by the competent authority of forestry of the State Council.

Article 61

Organizations and individuals that fell woods shall complete forest regeneration in accordance with relevant provisions. The area of forest regeneration shall not be less than the area of felling, and the forest regeneration shall meet the standards as set forth in the relevant technical protocols.

Article 62

The State shall, through interest subsidies, subsidies for stockpiling forest rights as collateral, and other measures, encourage and guide financial institutions to conduct forest-related mortgage loans, fiduciary loans to forest farmers, and other credit business in line with the characteristics of forestry, and support forest rights stockpiling institutions in stockpiling forest rights as collateral in a market-oriented manner.

Article 63

The State shall support the development of forestry insurance. People's governments at or above the county level shall provide premium subsidies for forestry insurance in accordance with law.

Article 64

Forestry managers may voluntarily apply for forest certification to promote forest management level and sustainable management.

Article 65

Any timber operating or processing enterprise shall keep a standing book for entry and exit of raw materials and products of woods. No organization or individual may purchase, process, and transport woods in full awareness of their illegal origins such as illegal felling or wanton deforestation.

Chapter VII Supervision and Inspection
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Article 66

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level shall, in accordance with the provisions of this Law, conduct supervision and inspection over the protection, restoration, utilization, and regeneration of forest resources and, in accordance with this Law, investigate and punish illegal acts such as destruction of forest resources.

Article 67

The competent authorities of forestry of people's governments at or above the county level are authorized to take the following measures when performing the duties of supervision and inspection of the protection of forest resources:

(1) Entering production and management premises for on-site inspection;

(2) Inspecting and duplicating relevant documents and files, and sealing documents and files that may be transferred, destroyed, concealed, or tampered with;

(3) Seizing and detaining woods from illegal sources proved with evidences, and tools, equipments, or property intended for activities that destroy forest resources; and

(4) Sealing up sites related to activities that destroy forest resources.

For regions of ineffective protection and development of forest resources, with prominent problems, and intensive public complaints, the competent forestry authorities of the people's government at or above the provincial level may inquire the principals in charge of the people's governments at or above the county level in the region and their relevant competent authorities and require them to corrective actions in a timely manner. The information on the inquiry and corrective actions shall be disclosed to the public.

Article 68

Where the destruction of forest resources causes ecological and environmental damages, the competent authorities of natural resources and forestry of the people's government at or above the county level may sue in a people's court in accordance with law and claim damages from the tortfeasor.

Article 69

The competent authorities of audit shall conduct audit supervision over state-owned forest resource assets in accordance with the relevant provisions stipulated by the State.

Chapter VIII Legal Liability
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Article 70

Where the competent authorities of forestry or any other relevant institutions of the people's government at or above the county level fail to perform their duties in accordance with the provisions of this Law, administrative sanction shall be imposed on the executive staffs in direct charge and other directly liable persons in accordance with law.

In case of the failure to make a decision on administrative penalty in accordance with the provisions of this Law, the competent authorities at the higher level shall be authorized to order the competent authorities at the lower level to make the decision on the administrative penalty or directly impose the administrative penalty.

Article 71

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, infringes upon the lawful rights and interests of an owner or user of forests, woods, or forest lands, shall be subject to tort liability in accordance with law.

Article 72

Any state-owned forestry enterprise or public institution who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, fails to perform its obligations to protect and cultivate forest resources, to prepare a forest management plan, or to conduct forest management activities in accordance with an approved forest management plan, shall be ordered by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to take corrective actions within a prescribed period, and administrative sanction imposed on the executive staffs in direct charge and other directly liable persons in accordance with law.

Article 73

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, changes the use of forest lands without the approval of the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level, shall be ordered by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to restore vegetation and forestry production conditions within a prescribed period, and may be imposed a fine of not more than three times the cost of the restoration.

Anyone who occupies forest lands without completing the approval procedures for construction land, even with approval of the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level, shall be punished in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Land Administration Law of the People's Republic of China.

Anyone who constructs permanent buildings on forest lands in temporary use, or fails to restore vegetation or forestry production conditions within one year after the expiration of the temporary use of the forest lands, shall be punished in accordance with paragraph 1 of this article.

Article 74

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, causes damages to woods in the ways of conducting reclamation, quarrying, sand quarrying, soil excavation, or other activities, shall be ordered by the competent authority of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to cease the illegal activities, replanted woods with one to three times of the damaged woods in the original or another places within a prescribed period, and may be imposed a fine of not more than five times the value of the woods damaged; and where damages are caused to forest lands, shall be ordered by the competent authority of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to cease the illegal activities and to restore vegetation and forestry production conditions within a prescribed period, and may be imposed a fine of not more than three times the cost of the restoration.

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, causes damages to woods by harvesting firewood, destroying seedlings, or grazing in young forest lands, shall be ordered by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to cease the illegal activities and to replant woods of one to three times of the damaged woods in the original or another place within a prescribed period.

Anyone who discharges sewage and sludge containing heavy metals or other toxic and hazardous substances in excess of standards and dredged sediment, tailings, slag, and the like that may cause pollution to forest lands, shall be punished in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Soil Pollution Prevention and Control.

Article 75

For the relocation or destruction, in violation of the provisions of this Law, of forest protection signs without authorization, the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level shall restore the forest protection signs at the expense of the violator.

Article 76

Anyone who fells woods illegally, shall be ordered by the competent authority of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to replant woods with one to five times of illegally felled woods in the original or another place within the prescribed period, and be imposed a fine with five to ten times of the value of the woods illegally felled in addition.

Anyone who fells woods exceeding permitted amount, shall be ordered by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to replant woods with one to three times of the number of excessively felled woods in the original or another place within the prescribed period, and may be imposed a fine with three to five times of the value of the woods felled excessively.

Article 77

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, forges, alters, trades, and leases felling licenses, shall be confiscated the license and illegal income by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level, and shall be imposed a fine with one to three times of the illegal income in addition; when no illegal income generated, may be imposed a fine of not more than 20,000 yuan.

Article 78

Anyone who , in violation of the provisions of this Law, purchases, processes, and transports woods in full awareness of their illegal origins such as illegal felling or wanton deforestation, shall be ordered by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to cease the illegal activities and confiscated of the woods illegally purchased, processed, and transported or the income from sale, and may be imposed a fine with no more than three times of the price of the woods illegally purchased, processed, and transported.

Article 79

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, fails to complete forest regeneration tasks, shall be ordered by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level to complete the task within a prescribed period; in the case of failure to complete within the prescribed period, shall be imposed a fine of no more than two times of the expense necessary for the remaining task; and administrative sanctions shall be imposed on the principals in direct charge and other directly liable persons in accordance with law.

Article 80

Anyone who, in violation of the provisions of this Law, refuses or obstructs supervision and inspection by the competent authorities of forestry of any people's government at or above the county level in accordance with law, may be imposed a fine of not more than 50,000 yuan, and in serious cases, may be ordered to suspend production and business for rectification.

Article 81

In the case of any of the following circumstances in violation of the provisions of this Law, the competent authority of forestry of the people's government at or above the county level shall organize performance of obligations on behalf of the violator in accordance with law at the expense of the violator:

(1) Refusing to restore vegetation and forestry production conditions, or the restoration of vegetation and forestry production conditions does not conform with the relevant provisions of the State; or

(2) Refusing to replant trees, or the replanting does not conform with the relevant provisions of the State.

The standards for restoring vegetation and forestry production conditions and replanting woods shall be formulated by the competent authorities of forestry of the people's governments at or above the provincial level.

Article 82

The competent authorities of public security may, according to the relevant regulations of the State, exercise the power of administrative penalty prescribed in paragraph 1 of Article 74 and Articles 76, 77, and 78 of this Law.

Anyone whose violation of the provisions of this Law constitutes a violation of public security administration shall be imposed administrative penalty in accordance with law; and where a crime is constituted, the violator shall be held criminally liable in accordance with law.

Chapter IX Supplementary Provisions
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Article 83

For the purposes of this Law, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) "Forests" include arbor forests, bamboo forests, and shrub forests specified by the State. Forests may be classified according to their functions as protection forests, special-purpose forests, timber forests, economic forests, and energy forests.

(2) "Woods" include trees and bamboo.

(3) "Forest lands" refer to the lands for the development of forestry as designated by the plans of the people's government at or above the county level, including arbor forest lands with a canopy density of not less than 0.2 as well as bamboo forest lands, shrub forest lands, sparse forest lands, harvested lands, burned areas, non-mature forestation lands, and nursery lands.

Article 84

This Law shall enter into force on July 1, 2020.

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Original:

This work is in the public domain because it is exempted by Article 5 of Chinese copyright law. This exempts all Chinese government and judicial documents, and their official translations, from copyright. It also exempts simple factual information, and calendars, numerical tables, and other forms of general use and formulas.

Translation:

This work is in the public domain because it is exempted by Article 5 of Chinese copyright law. This exempts all Chinese government and judicial documents, and their official translations, from copyright. It also exempts simple factual information, and calendars, numerical tables, and other forms of general use and formulas.