Forest Ordinance, 1926 (Summary)

Areas Reserved for Forests

– The Minister of Agriculture may declare any non-privately owned land as a "forest-reserve". He may further, by order, declare all or part of any forest-reserve a "closed forest area" for the purposes of protecting endangered trees or for any other purpose.

– The Minister of Agriculture may order privately owned land to be under the protection of a Forest Official, appointed by him, when such action is in the public interest; or when removal of the trees is likely to threaten the water supply or damage nearby agricultural land. Such land is treated as a forest-reserve for as long as the order is valid. The owner of the land is responsible for all expenses related to the protection of the forest.

– The following activities are forbidden in a forest-reserve without a permit:

* to remove forest products (logs, charcoal, sap or resin, gutta percha, tree oils, weeds, vines, thatch, leaves, fruit, seeds, roots, bark, fibers, nests or any other material or parts of trees and plants; turf, soil, or minerals);

* to uproot or burn a tree; to remove its bark or damage it in any other way;

* to burn grass or to start any fire without taking adequate measures to ensure that it will not spread; the Minister of Agriculture may forbid the lighting of any fires in certain areas or during certain seasons. In addition, smoking is forbidden in a forest-reserve from the fifteenth of March until the sixteenth of November each year;

* to graze livestock or to allow them to enter a forest area;

* to dig up the earth;

* to build a dam or otherwise stop the flow of any river or stream;

* to live in, or to build any building in a forest reserve.

– The gathering of dry firewood by residents of villages surrounding a forest-reserve is permitted.

– A Forest Official may grant a permit to remove forest products from a forest-reserve if such activity will not threaten the survival of the forest. He may also grant a permit to graze livestock in the forest-reserve.

– Anyone who contravenes this Law or knowingly purchases forest products from a forest-reserve is liable to a fine or six months imprisonment. Forest Fires

– Inhabitants of any village within five kilometers of a forest fire are required to assist in extinguishing it. A person who refuses to participate in fire fighting efforts is liable to a fine or imprisonment for fourteen days.

Protected Trees

– The Minister of Agriculture is authorized to declare certain trees to be "protected trees". Trees may be protected throughout the whole country or in a smaller area, and for an amount of time determined by the Minister.

– A person may not cut down or move protected trees, olive trees or carob trees without a permit.

– The following are declared protected trees from 1976 until 1996:

In the whole country:

Cercis siliguastrum
Styrax officinalis
Phillyrea media
Grevillea robusta
Laurus nobilis
Ficus carica
Phoenix dactylifera
Ficus sycomorus
Schinus molle

In the north:

Prosopis stepaniana
Poterium spinosum
Zizyphus spina christi
Zizyphus lotus
Myrtus communis