Projects within urban areas in Mexico will no longer require a forestry land use change authorization
Administrative Law Mexico Commentary 2-2018
A new General Law on Sustainable Forestry Development was enacted, entering into force on June 6, 2018.
Unlike the former Law, the new Forestry Law includes provisions to safeguard and protect human rights and empowers federal and local authorities to regulate and execute climate change mitigation and adaptation actions; local authorities are also granted with powers to implement mechanisms for the collection of taxes to incorporate the costs of preserving, maintaining and improving environmental services provided by forestry ecosystems.
A noteworthy innovation of the enacted Forestry Law is the reformulation of the “forestry land” concept in order to establish that the land located within the limits of urbanized areas will not be considered as “forestry land”, except for the land located within natural protected areas.
Consequently, removal of forestry vegetation within urban areas or urban reserve areas will not require a forestry land use change authorization as long as such removal does not occur within the limits of a natural protected area.
Furthermore, the Law now requires forestry land use change authorizations to be registered with the National Forestry Registry and compels permit holders to file periodic reports on the execution and development of the land use change.
The Law sets forth fines in the amount of up to approximately USD $117,836. Offenders are allowed to alternatively execute forestry preservation, protection and restoration works equivalent to amount of the imposed fine.
Regulations to the Forestry Law shall be issued within 180 business days following the date of entry into force of the Law.