The National Forest Reform Law (NFRL) allocates thirty percent of Land Rental Fees to communities that are entitled to benefit sharing. Section 14.2 (b) (ii) defines Land rental fees as “ ....fees associated with the use of Forest Land, including administrative fees and area based fees tied to Forest Resources Licenses”. The Ten Core Regulation on Major Pre-Felling Operations also specifies that financial benefits to affected communities under social agreements must amount to a minimum of one dollar per cubic meter of round logs harvested annually under licences, based on verifiable information from the chain of custody system.
Data on the collection and distribution of forestry taxes and fees is circulated in monthly updates from the chain of custody contractor Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS). This data is sent to forest stakeholders on its email list, but it is not proactively collated or published by the government authorities. International and local NGO partners have assisted to provide this information to community groups like the Community Forest Development Committees, which are then using it to demand access to funds from logging operations. However, SGS calculations of community share of land rental fees do not include the Land Rental Bid Premium, which is also an area based fees. Although the SGS collect data on the stumpage amounts in total, it does not have details of what financial amount should be distributed to communities under social agreements.
The National Benefit Sharing Trust (NBST) regulations were approved by the Forestry Development Authority Board of Directors in June 2011 to govern the disbursement of land rental fees to affected communities. They clearly lays out the functions and responsibilities of the Trust Board, which includes managing land rental fees funds received for the benefit of affected communities and establishing a project review committee to ensure that projects benefit the targeted affected communities. The Trust Board has been formally constituted with representatives from the key forest stakeholders including communities, private sector, government and civil society, but at the time of this assessment it had still not yet received the share of land rental fees into its accounts and therefore not been able to distribute them to affected communities.
|Title||(a) NFRL section 14.2: Forest fees
(b) Ten Core Regulation 106-07: Regulation on benefit sharing
(c) Community Rights Law: Chapter 3: Community Rights and Responsibilities
(d) Regulation on Benefit Sharing Trust 2011
|Organisation||Forestry Development Authority; Community Forestry Department|
(d) Available on request from the FDA