New rules over use of forest products in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Banja Luka, Republica Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina)—Bosnia and Herzegovina has announced new rules governing the use of non-wood forest products (NWFPs). The rules were drawn up in line with the principles and criteria of FairWild’s Standard for sustainable and fair use of wild collected species.
Non-wood forest products include materials such as medicinal and aromatic plants, mushrooms, berries, ornamental plants and lichens.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republic of Srpska recently published a new edition of the Rulebook of Conditions for Utilization and the Methods of Collection of Other Forest Products.
The newly revised and adopted Rulebook lies at the heart of regulations governing the collection and sustainable utilization of NWFP species, based on the Law of Forests (2008). TRAFFIC participated in a review of the new legislation, in co-operation with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republic of Srpska.
The Rulebook defines groups of products included under the definition of NWFPs, identifies responsible entities for the management of wild NWFPs, defines procedures and rules for establishing harvesting quotas, the selection of harvesting techniques, the process of devising management plans for species utilization and population monitoring.
Important new measures concern the establishment of new licensing procedures and controls over commercial collection, the introduction of a list of plants approved and forbidden for commercial collectors (the first list of its kind), and introduction of obligatory annual plans for NWFP use, based on ecological sustainability.
Species of particular conservation concern, which are put on the list of species forbidden for commercial collection, include medicinal plants such as Arnica montana, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi and Gentiana lutea.
“The adoption of the Rulebook of Conditions for Utilization and the Methods of Collection of Other Forest Products is a positive example of a policy mechanism to support the establishment of a sustainable system for the wild collection and use of non-wood forest products,” said Anastasiya Timoshyna, Medicinal Plants Officer for TRAFFIC Europe.
TRAFFIC hopes similar supporting policy mechanisms will be widely established in other countries of South East Europe—an important region for wild NWFPs collection.
TRAFFIC’s participation in the Rulebook review was carried out under a ‘Saving Plants that Save Lives and Livelihoods’ Project supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The project is in its final stages after two years of field testing the FairWild Standard and establishing sustainable wild medicinal and aromatic plants collection and use practices in selected countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.