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The Timber Resources Management Act provides for the granting of timber rights. Except in the case of land with private forest plantations or lands with timber grown or owned by an individual or group, no person shall harvest timber unless that person holds timber rights in the form of a Timber Utilization Contract (TUC). These contracts are limited in time and space.
A Timber Rights Evaluation Committee is established. The Committee evaluates applications for TUCs. The Minister can subsequently enter into such contracts on recommendation of the Forestry Commission (which is based on the report of the evaluation committee). TUCs entered into by the Minister are subject to Parliamentary ratification. The act further outlines the terms of contract and provides for the payment of royalties and various other conditions. It subsequently includes provisions for the suspension, termination and transfer timber rights.
Alongside some other changes (see below), the 2002 Timber Resources (Amendment) Act (Act 617) included a number of incentives and benefits for investors in the original Timber Resources Management Act.
The Timber Resources Management Act has been amended by the Timber Resources Management (Amendment) Act in 2002 (Act 617). This act excluded land with private forest plantation from the prohibition to harvest trees without timber right and TUC. It also provided for the maximum duration and area of timber rights as well as for incentives and benefits applicable to investors in forestry and wildlife. Finally it changed the definitions section to include what seems to be a legal loophole (see box 3).