MMAN — The Council of Ministers on Wednesday endorsed the 2015 amended draft agriculture law as part of the government›s measures to resolve tresspassing on forest lands.

The draft law comes in accordance with measures implemented in several sectors to prevent violations on water, electricity, the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (Tawjihi) and forest lands, in order to retrieve Jordan›s status and deter violators, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The amendments impose harsher penalties related to violations on forests and pastures by prohibiting the issuance of commuted sentences against violators.

A total of 12,000 violations have been recorded on bare forestry lands and 7,000-8,000 breaches occurred during the last 25 years, Agriculture Minister Akef Zu’bi told The Jordan Times earlier.

Forestry lands amount to 1.5 million dunums, of which 250,000 dunums are bare, 400,000 dunums are natural forests, 500,000 dunums are planted forests and 350,000 are nature reserves, forestry department director Eid Zu’bi recently told The Jordan Times.

Forests in Jordan constitute less than 1 per cent of the country’s total area of 97,000 square kilometres.
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