N.-W.F.P. Forestry Commission Act 1999

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ACT XV OF 1999

An Act to improve the protection, management and sustainable development of forests in the North-West Frontier Province

[Gazette of N.-W.F.P., Extraordinary, 13th October, 1999]

No:PA/NWFP/Legis:I/99/24260, dated 13-10-1999.--The North- West Frontier Province Forestry Commission Bill, 1999, having been passed by the Provincial Assembly of North-West Frontier Province on the 24th September, 1999 and assented to by the Governor of the North-West Frontier Province on 7th October, 1999, is hereby published as an Act of the Provincial Legislature of North-West Frontier Province.

Whereas it is expedient to provide for the protection, management is, and sustainable development of forests in the North-West Frontier Province;

It is hereby enacted as follows:

1. Short title, extent and commencement.--(1) This Act may be called the North-West Frontier Province, Forestry Commission Act, 1999.

(2) It extends to whole of the North-West Frontier Province.

(3) It shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions.--In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(i) "biodiversity" or "biological diversity" means the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and ecological complexes of which they are part, as well as diversity within or between species and of ecosystems;

(ii) "Chief Minister" means the Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province; .

(iii) "Commission" means the North-West Frontier Province, Forestry Commission constituted under section 3(l);

(iv) "Department" means the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife, Government of the North-West Frontier Province;

(v) "ecosystem" means a dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interring as a functional unit;

(vi) "environment" includes soil, water, air, natural vegetation, fish, wild animals and wild birds of an area;

(vii) "forest" means a plant community, predominantly of trees and other woody vegetation growing more or less closely together and includes the, soil and water, and the trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, medicinal plants and mushrooms, and the wild animals, birds and fish inhabiting it;

(viii) "forest-land" includes any land which is not cultivated and not under forest but is capable of supporting a forest;

(ix) "Forestry Round Table" means a body created under section 5;

(x) "Government" means the Government of the North-West Frontier Province;

(xi) "member" means a member of the Commission and includes its Chairman;

(xii) "prescribe" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(x iii) "Province" means the North-West Frontier Province;

(xiv) "Secretary" means the Secretary to Government, Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife Department;

(xv) "stake-holders" means groups of persons with legitimate interest in the protection, management, sustainable development and utilization of renewable natural resources;

(xvi) "state of forestry report" means an annual report prepared by the Department objectively describing the endeavours made by it during the year to improve the protection, management and sustainable development of the forests of the Province, the outcomes of these endeavours or the factors responsible for their salient success or failure; and

(xvii) "sustainable" means a level of production or intensity of use which a forest, forest-land, grazing-land, water-body, or wildlife population can bear without a reduction in its capacity for future production.

3. Constitution of the Commission.--(1) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, Government shall establish a Commission to be called the North-West Frontier Province Forestry Commission.

(2) The Commission shall comprise three whole-time members and shall be supported by a secretariat.

(3) A member shall be a person of impeccable repute associated with forestry and other renewable resources, which may include a retired Government servant.

(4) The members shall be appointed by the Chief Minister from a panel of two names for each vacancy proposed by the Forestry Round Table.

4. Functions of the Commission.--(1) The Commission shall endeavour to further the cause of the protection, management, and sustainable development of the forests in the Province.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the Commission shall, subject to section 6, perform the following functions, namely:--

(a) give vision and framework for the sustainable development of forests in the Province;

(b) guide and oversee the process of institutional and legislative reforms in the Department;

(c) review, develop and advocate policies for the sustainable development of forests in the Province and ensure their implementation through continuous monitoring;

(d) inform the Chief .Minister and the minister-in-charge about the state-of forestry resources in the Province, and advocate appropriate policy, legislative and administrative action to promote the well-being of the resources and in particular, bring to their notice, instances where officers of the department cannot be held accountable or evaluated for the positive contributions to the sustainable development of forestry due to too frequent postings and transfers;

(e) appraise the performance of the department on the basis of the state of forestry report prepared annually by the department;

(f) identify basic issues hampering the sustainability of forestry and strive to redress them with the help of the Forestry Round Table and Government;

(g) endeavour with the help of Forestry Round Table, to resolve major conflicts among stakeholders which may hamper the protection, management and sustainable development of forestry;

(h) study the impact of incentives and participatory approaches on the sustainability of forestry in other countries of the world and attempt to introduce them in the Province;

(i) devise ways and means to infuse professionalism in the functionaries of the forestry sector;

(j) increase transparency and accountability in the working of the department; and

(k) perform such other functions as may contribute to enhancing the protection, management and sustainable development of the forests of the Province. '

5. Constitution of the Forestry Round Table.--As soon as may be, after the commencement of this Act, Government shall constitute a Forestry Round Table to assist the Commission in the performance of its functions comprising representatives of the major stakeholders in the sector and make rules to prescribe the number of its members, the manner of their appointment, the procedure for its operation and such other details as it may deem appropriate:

Provided that till a Forestry Round Table is constituted under this Act, the Forestry Round Table constituted by Government vide its Notification No.CPO/FFW/4062-80, dated the 1st April, 1998, shall be deemed to be the Forestry Round Table for the purposes of this Act.

6. Functions of the Forestry Round Table.--The Forestry Round Table shall perform the following functions in relation to the Commission, namely:

(a) work as think-tank and resource pool for the Commission;

(b) advise the Commission on policy, legal and institutional issues either of its own volition or at the request of the Commission;

(c) resolve major conflicts among the stakeholders which may be hampering the protection, management and sustainable development of forestry in the Province; and

(d) such other functions as may be entrusted to it by Government.

7. Role of the Secretary.--The Secretary shall endeavour to facilitate the performance of the Commission, inter alia, by ensuring the active participation of the functionaries of the Department in its studies and deliberations and the prompt supply of all information needed by it.

8. Term of office of the members.--(1) The term of office of each member shall be three years except that the term of office of the members of the first Commission shall be 3, 2 and 1 years to provide continuity in the functioning of the Commission.

(2) The term of members shall not be renewable.

(3) A member may resign his office by tendering resignation to the Chief Minister.

(4) A member shall ordinarily hold office uninterrupted for his entire term, unless removed earlier by the Chief Minister on the charge of an offence involving moral turpitude.

(5) The members and employees of the Commission shall be eligible to such emoluments and other benefits as Government may determine.

9. Procedure for operation.--(1) The Commission shall have its own budget and an administrative unit to support its operations.

(2) There shall be a chairperson of the Commission whose tenure shall rotate annually in succession amongst its members. The first chairperson shall be the member with the shortest tenure. The Commission may delegate any of its functions and powers to any of its members.

(3) All decisions of the Commission shall preferably be taken by consensus, or in case where consensus cannot be attained, by majority of opinion.

(4) The Commission shall make its own rules and procedure for its operation.

10. Power and duties of the Commission.--The Commission shall have the following powers---

(a) sanction expenditure against its approved budget and according to the procedure evolved by it;

(b) commission studies, surveys, and consultancies required in the discharge of its functions;

(c) correspond with the office of the Chief Minister through the Chief Secretary for non-development and the Additional Chief Secretary for developmental matters;

(d) submit state of forestry report prepared by the Department alongwith its observations to the Chief Minister and the Provincial Assembly;

(e) inter with Government Departments, non-governmental organizations, private sector organizations, individuals, and donors for carrying out the purposes of this Act;

(f) require the functionaries of the Department to submit any information or report needed for the performance of its functions; and

(g) take suo motu action for investigating any matter of concern in the sector which comes to its knowledge, and send its findings to the Secretary for taking remedial action.

11. Power to make rules.--Government may, on the recommendations of the Commission, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

12. Indemnity.--No action shall be taken against any member .for anything in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act.

13. Repeal.--The North-West Frontier Province Forestry Commission Ordinance, 1999 (N.-W.F.P. Ordinance No.X of 1999) is hereby repealed.


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