Protected Trees in South Africa

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ declaration of Protected Trees in South Africa

In September of 2013, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries made an official announcement in the Gazette (No. 677 13 September 2013) that the NATIONAL FORESTS ACT, 1998 (ACT NO. 84 OF 1998) were to be amended concerning particular groups of trees known as “Champion Trees”.

According to the publication Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and

Fisheries made an announcement that all the trees as set out in the schedule were declared as protected trees in South Africa, including the Rooibloekom (Eucalyptuscamaldulensis), Pseudostrobusden (Pinuspseudostrobus), Kremetart (Adansoniadigitata) and the Sycamore fig (Ficussycamorus).

Consequently, in terms of Section 15(1) of the National ForestsAct, 1998, people may no longer cut, disturb, damage or destroy these protected trees of South Africa. What’s more is that people may also notacquire or dispose of any of these trees in any manner, so you are not allowed to possess, collect, remove, transport, export, purchase, sell, or donate any of these trees.

Then there is the matter of products made from a protected tree. The only time when you will be allowed to trade in such goods would be under a licence granted by the Minister or in terms of an exemption from the provisions of this subsection published by the Minister in the Gazette.

Any person who breaks the law as stated in the declaration may be held liable for prosecution as this will be regarded as a first category offence. The punishment for anyone found to be guilty of such an act can be sentenced to a fine or serve imprisonment for a period of to three years, or both.

Should you require more information about protected trees in South Africa, please feel free to contact us at Windy Willows.

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