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Chairman of the National Assembly: it is necessary to Consider the regulation on overseas Vietnamese residents as forest owners

Regulations on forest owners

Regulations on forest owners are one of the major issues in the receipt and revision of the draft Law on Forest Protection and Development (amended), reported by Phan Xuan Dung, Chairman of Science, Technology and Environment Committee on August 14, at the 13th session of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly.

To be the head of the body examining this draft, Mr. Dung said that through the discussion at the third session, the National Assembly delegates proposed adding “household groups”, ” Vietnamese overseas residents ” to be forest owners.

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According to the verifying authority, the regulations on types of forest owners (Article 8) related to the rights and responsibilities of forest owners is regulated in Chapter 8 of the draft law. In the current legal system, the liability of the household group has not clearly defined. Civil law and criminal law also do not regulate about the above  subject, the land law also does not has regulation on allocation or lease of land for household groups.

Therefore, the appraising body would not add this “household group” as forest owners to ensure uniformity in the legal system.

For overseas Vietnamese residents, Mr. Dung explained, although the current law stipulates that this is a subject of forest owner, the Land Law stipulates that this subject is allocated or leased land by the State. However, because of Vietnam’s forest fund is very little (about 2.7 million ha), while the demand for land allocation and land lease of local people is large, so give priority to local people to develop production, ensure jobs and stabilize the life of people living in forest region.

In cases overseas Vietnamese residents wish to invest in forestry sector, they may cooperate with other forest owners or establish legal entities to invest in forest development.

Mr. Dung pressed that for the above reasons, the appraising authority and the drafting board would like not to clarify that the forest owners in the add this subject to be forest owner in draft law.

Agree that household group isn’t the forest owner, but National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said that it is necessary to consider the regulation of overseas Vietnamese as forest owners to comply with the provisions of the Land Law.

Because the Land Law stipulates that overseas Vietnamese residents are leased land or forest by the State to implement planting forest investment projects.

National Assembly Chairman commented that it is necessary to consider whether the overseas Vietnamese residents are the forest owners or not to be suitable.

Also related to the regulations on forest owners, National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien raised the question: the provisions of the Constitution and the Land Law allow overseas Vietnamese to be the forest owner, but in the report of the draft law says that forest land is too little, so it must  be allocated to local people alone is reasonable or not, need to consider.

Besides the above, many other issues of the bill also make the Standing Committee of the National Assembly wonder.

With 27 contents assigned to the Government to regulate in details, Chairman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan suggested it is necessary to legalize under law documents to reduce the terms and assigned to the Government so that the law is enforceable, not waiting for instructions after issuing.

In addition, the National Assembly Chairman noted that we must pay close attention to the allocation of production forest land to communities not a subject defined in the Civil Code.

“It will be complicated, difficult if there is a dispute to be handled under civil law,” said the Chairman.

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On the suggestion that the classification of forests should be kept unchanged, Chairman of the Judicial Committee, Le Thi Nga, said that the provisions on prohibited behavior in the draft are related to criminal law, so should be accurate, especially in relation to classification of forest.

After receiving and adjusting, the draft law will be reviewed by the National Assembly Standing Committee before submitting to the National Assembly for discussion and approval at the session at the end of this year.

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