Fri. Apr 19th, 2024

Rwanda’s lower house of parliament has passed a bill that proposes stricter regulations to protect forests in the country.

The bill forbids the harvesting, use and trade of immature trees.

It additionally requires Rwandans to obtain permits from authorities before cutting any trees, including privately planted ones.

The bill also proposes harsher penalties for those who cut trees before they mature or without a licence, with fines of up to 3m Rwandan francs ($2,300; £1,800).

“This law aims to further preserve the environment and prevent the effects of climate change,” the lower house of parliament said after passing the bill on Monday.

Rwanda also aims at using the bill to sell carbon credits, pro-government New Times new website reported last year, citing Environment Minister Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.

But the proposed law is unpopular among many Rwandans, who view it as an inconvenience that will make it difficult to access wood for cooking, construction and other common uses.

Rwanda’s tree conservation efforts have grown the country’s forest cover from 10.7% in 2010 to 30.4% in 2022, according to the environment ministry.

By Joy

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