Trees on Private Land
A regulatory impact analysis in two
states in India.
Chetan Agarwal
independent analyst
Importance of trees on private lands
• Growing stock in TOF is 25%
– Forest
– TOF
– Total

4498 mcum
1548
6047

• Producti...
Tale of two states – MP & Haryana
India

MP

Haryana

< 1/4

1/3

< 5%

Recorded Forest Area

769,538

94,689

1,559

Grow...
Trees of private lands: Nature of
regulations
• Forest, deemed forest or Agro-forest ?
• Reserved species whose felling re...
Context of regulation
• It is hard to ascertain the origin of wood –
whether from farm or public forest.
• The presence of...
Context of regulation
• Forest rich states worry about poaching
–
–
–
–

Madhya Pradesh,
over a third of the geographical ...
Review in a Forest Rich state
•
•
•
•

diverse types of controls,
multiple points of regulation and
Regulatory burden on f...
nature of controls
Based on factors such as:
• Location
– (distance from the forests).

• Species harvested
– (is it a qui...
Points of regulation in value chain
1. Pre-harvest
1. (permission – at several levels).

2. Post-harvest
1. (marking of ha...
Rules in MP – major revamp around
2000-2002
• Madhya Pradesh Prohibition or Regulation of the cutting of Trees Rules,
2002...
objective implementation
• objective implementation
– various regulatory bodies involved
– to undertake a number of steps,...
Steps for objective implementation
Regulatory burden on the regulator too
•
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14....
Lok Vaniki
• scientific management plan for private
holdings
• continuity of forest/ tree cover
• Increased productivity
•...
Experience of Lok Vaniki
• 2005
• 2007
• 2008-9
• 2911
•
•
•
•

Chartered foresters role reduced
Tree felling permission d...
• Amendments
– Joint survey of Revenue & forest officials
(regulatory scarcity and rationing)
– GPS boundary map in additi...
Current situation in MP
•
•
•
•
•
•

•
•
•

Non-exempt spp.
Harvesting of limited volumes for self use with an information...
Burden on regulator
• Regulation implementaion burden on
administrators
– high ascertainment costs should they try to
impl...
Burden on regulated
• Corollary , regulatory burden for small and large farmers,
significant, especially for any commercia...
Haryana
• Forest cover
3.9%
• Tree and forest cover 6.8%
• Punjab Land Preservation Act
– Section 4 (General)
– areas noti...
Is this a forest ?:
Govt of Haryana yet to make up its mind…..
International Context
• International regulations encourage legality
– EU Timber Regulations
– US Lacey Act

• Verificatio...
Concluding thoughts
• Options to Increase ROR
–
–
–
–
–

Increase productivity of species
Review regulatory systems and as...
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Session 1.1 trees on private land

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Session 1.1 trees on private land

  1. 1. Trees on Private Land A regulatory impact analysis in two states in India. Chetan Agarwal independent analyst
  2. 2. Importance of trees on private lands • Growing stock in TOF is 25% – Forest – TOF – Total 4498 mcum 1548 6047 • Production – Recorded forest area – Imports – TOF (potential) 3 mcm 6 mcm 42 mcm
  3. 3. Tale of two states – MP & Haryana India MP Haryana < 1/4 1/3 < 5% Recorded Forest Area 769,538 94,689 1,559 Growing stock (Forest) 4498.7 249.6 4.893 Growting stock (TOF) 1548.4 85.1 15.268 Production (Forest) mcm 3.175 0.397 0.108 Potential production (TOF) 42.7 3.168 1.975 12.5% 5.5% Forest cover
  4. 4. Trees of private lands: Nature of regulations • Forest, deemed forest or Agro-forest ? • Reserved species whose felling requires permission and transit requires permits, e.g. teak • Exempt species whose felling does not require permission and transit does not require permits, e.g popular • In between species where transit is regulated. • Partially decentralized species where permissions /permits are devolved to the revenue department or gram panchayat. • Urban preservation of trees acts which put severe controls on cutting of trees primarily from an asthetic / environmental point of view in urban areas.
  5. 5. Context of regulation • It is hard to ascertain the origin of wood – whether from farm or public forest. • The presence of extensive public forests creates additional pressure to regulate private lands, • Forest-poor states like Haryana - easier to deregulate • Exotic species like Eucalyptus and Populus are easily deregulated.
  6. 6. Context of regulation • Forest rich states worry about poaching – – – – Madhya Pradesh, over a third of the geographical area is recorded forest land commercially valuable sal and teak forests. The total growing stock is approximately 50 million m3 and with a gross value of Rs.2 500 billion or US$55.5 billion. • Expectations regarding farmer behaviour – large scale felling on private lands if regulations are relaxed. • Increasing value of alternate land-uses – e.g. real estate puts additional pressures in peri-urban areas
  7. 7. Review in a Forest Rich state • • • • diverse types of controls, multiple points of regulation and Regulatory burden on farmers considerable regulatory burden on the implementing agencies as well
  8. 8. nature of controls Based on factors such as: • Location – (distance from the forests). • Species harvested – (is it a quintessential forest species?). • Use – (commercial or domestic). • environmental or social concerns – conserving trees near waterbodies, in high sloping areas, near public paths. • Condition of trees: – Dead and dying trees less strictly regulated than green trees- often perverse incentive
  9. 9. Points of regulation in value chain 1. Pre-harvest 1. (permission – at several levels). 2. Post-harvest 1. (marking of harvested trees). 3. Pre-transit 1. (approval of transit permit 2. and charge of royalties and fees if applicable). 4. In-transit 1. (checking at check posts). 5. Point of sale 1. (nationalized species /monopoly buyer e.g. teak in MP).
  10. 10. Rules in MP – major revamp around 2000-2002 • Madhya Pradesh Prohibition or Regulation of the cutting of Trees Rules, 2002 – Specify the institutional structure of permitting, location based constraints on harvesting, harvesting of selected non-timber tree species with local permission. • • Madhya Pradesh Regulation of Felling and Removal of timber in villages adjoining Government Forests, Rules 2002. – Establish the institutional structure for permitting harvesting based on use – sale or self-use, as well as conditions for reducing the regulatory burden. • Madhya Pradesh Transit (Forest Produce) Rules 2000 – Define the institutional roles of the Forest Department and Gram Panchayats for regulating the movement of forest produce, especially timber. • • Madhya Pradesh Lok Vaniki Rules 2002 – Provide requirements for managing “tree clad” areas on private lands and revenue lands and exclusions from general rules.
  11. 11. objective implementation • objective implementation – various regulatory bodies involved – to undertake a number of steps, if they followed the regulations to the letter.
  12. 12. Steps for objective implementation Regulatory burden on the regulator too • 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. These steps identified below are from a review of regulation in one state which has good forests, to highlight the complexity in the system: Ascertain how the applicant will use the wood. Cross check ownership of land Whether the tree is dead or dying. If dead or dying, was the process assisted or created by human help? Whether the slope of the land where each tree is located is above a specified level. The species of each tree and whether it is an exempted species. Estimate the potential volume. Whether the volume is above 2 m3, if it is for subsistence use and of non-exempted species. Whether the tree confers locational benefits near a path, or waterbody, or has other public benefits. Cross-check the harvested wood with the approved amount. Hammer mark the wood. Approve a transit pass. Cross-check the transit pass en route. Cross-check the wood if it goes to a sawmill for processing. Cross-check wood that comes back to the buyer to confirm it is put for domestic use. Buy the wood at the depot, if it is a monopoly item. Grade it to determine the potential price. Sell the wood. Realize payment. Subtract costs. Send net payment to the seller. If the seller is a tribal, credit the amount to a joint account between the tribal and the district collector and monitor the use of the money.
  13. 13. Lok Vaniki • scientific management plan for private holdings • continuity of forest/ tree cover • Increased productivity • Simplified periodic felling as per plan • Regulatory by-pass for other regulations • 150000 ha of pvt forests lands • doubling timber production
  14. 14. Experience of Lok Vaniki • 2005 • 2007 • 2008-9 • 2911 • • • • Chartered foresters role reduced Tree felling permission decentralized from district collector to tehsildar Ban on felling under lok Vaniki Revised draft rule for lok vaniki 600 plus plans in one district (Dewas) 2000 odd ha covered Slowdown in growth, but hardly any change of landuse Farmers facing constraints in felling permissions, and new/revised plans • Land records and maps not geo-referenced
  15. 15. • Amendments – Joint survey of Revenue & forest officials (regulatory scarcity and rationing) – GPS boundary map in addition to Revenue boundary may - compatibility issues • FSC certification of selected Lok Vaniki forests
  16. 16. Current situation in MP • • • • • • • • • Non-exempt spp. Harvesting of limited volumes for self use with an informational requirement. Dead and dying trees of few species can be cut with Panchayat permission. Commercial felling of existing non-exempt trees -fairly elaborate regulatory procedure. The delay in approving harvesting hits farmers hard. Lok Vaniki is designed to motivate farmers to think of long term forest management and not one time harvest and conversion of land use. The primary benefit of Lok Vaniki provides is exemptions from numerous harvesting regulations. Earlier, high transaction costs of the previous regulations, non-trivial benefit. In recent years, regular harvesting dencentralized to tehsildar, and complexities of Lok Vaniki increased, making it less attractive. Downside – less area under long term managed.
  17. 17. Burden on regulator • Regulation implementaion burden on administrators – high ascertainment costs should they try to implement regulations objectively. – rationing, where only a small proportion of applications are likely approved.
  18. 18. Burden on regulated • Corollary , regulatory burden for small and large farmers, significant, especially for any commercial use of healthy trees. • Direct impact – transaction cost burden placed on landowners that try to harvest and sell trees. • • • • length of the approval process, the uncertainty of approval, Cost of lawyer or an agent to shepherd the application Or - the costs of tens of trips to meet officials • Indirect impact – Disincentive for protection and nurturing of naturally regenerated and planted trees on private lands.
  19. 19. Haryana • Forest cover 3.9% • Tree and forest cover 6.8% • Punjab Land Preservation Act – Section 4 (General) – areas notified for restrictions on tree cutting without permission – both rural and urban • Exempt species – 7 on felling of transportation permission required • For urban areas – no tree preservation act. • Identification of forests on private lands, commonlands, and privatised commonlands
  20. 20. Is this a forest ?: Govt of Haryana yet to make up its mind…..
  21. 21. International Context • International regulations encourage legality – EU Timber Regulations – US Lacey Act • Verification of source is key • Challenge – to allow tracability without increasing transaction costs and entry barriers for small farmers
  22. 22. Concluding thoughts • Options to Increase ROR – – – – – Increase productivity of species Review regulatory systems and assess implementation burden Revise accordingly Identify forests on community/pvt. Lands – reduce uncertainty Apply technology • Georeferenced land record maps • Tracing of timber – bar codes etc • Online availability of Transit Permits • Benefits – – – – Reduce ascertainment costs for regulator Reduce delays for regulated Allow env. Safeguards to be retained with lower regulatory costs Faciliate sharing of eco-system services information, provide basis for PES

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