All chainsaw and mobile sawmill owners across the country will have to register with the agriculture ministry’s Department of Forest and Park Services and obtain a certificate of registration to operate it, according to the revised Forest and Nature Conservation Rules and Regulation of Bhutan 2017 (FNCR 2017).

The chainsaw and mobile sawmill operators should also produce documents such as valid license issued by the economic affairs ministry for a mobile sawmill and valid permit and original sawing order at the site of operation.

The forestry officials met with the people of the 12 gewogs in Tsirang to create awareness on the rules and regulation on June 19.

The revised FNCR 2017 will also help in collecting information on how many owns chainsaw and the number of mobile sawmills operating in the country. The registration process will collect all necessary information.

The rule states that mobile sawmill or chainsaw not registered shall not be allowed to operate. “If the mobile sawmill or power chainsaw is transferred to any area under the jurisdiction of another division or park, the division or park officials should issue a letter of transfer of registration.”

However, the registration fee is yet to be decided.

Another major change added to the rule is the rural timber entitlement.

The maximum quantity of subsidised timber for a new construction of rural house shall be 4,000cft of log or standing tree in log volume for the construction of a two-storied house, which shall be permitted once in 25 years.

For the construction of a single storied house, head of a household (gung) will be entitled to 2,000cft of log or standing tree in log volume once in 25 years. A household shall also be entitled to 700cft of log or standing tree in log volume once in 12 years.

Deputy chief forestry officer, Gyem Tshering, said this is a major change in the rural timber requirement.

He said that the existing rule entitled only 80 standing trees to a household irrespective of how many storey it has.

“The volume of timber might be less than what people availed earlier as a general category of construction but now they will be entitled with specific needs.”

Another important change in the new rule is that a member of the community forest has the right over the sand and stone boulder inside the community forests, either to use it domestically or for commercial purpose.

However, the sand and boulder should be incorporated in the management plan and bylaws.

Gyem Tshering said each member would have the right and responsibility to manage the resources sustainably.

The revised rule and regulation also clearly spells out on non-wood forest product extraction, as it enables people to form groups to benefit from the non-wood forest products.

The amended rule came into effect from January 2017.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang