The province of Santa Fe promulgated "Law of the Tree".


16/02/2019

The Executive Power promulgated and published in the Official Gazette of the province the so-called "Law of the Tree" which was prompted by a message sent to the Legislature on March 1, 2017 and which was sanctioned at the end of last year after long discussions in committees of both cameras. "We emphasize the importance of adopting active environmental policies that contribute to the mitigation and adaptation to climate change, through regulations that promote tree planting and conservation of biological biodiversity. It is fundamental and strategic to promote territorial and sustainable balance, taking advantage of the benefits of the tree and its environmental services, in order to achieve a healthier and more suitable environment for human development ", he said in the preamble to the message.

The first article of the regulation states that the purpose of the law is "to establish a state policy on environmental matters, through the promotion and conservation of trees throughout the provincial territory, generating a healthy, balanced and suitable environment for human development "to later declare the promotion and conservation of the trees of public interest.

The norm is divided into eight chapters, the first, in addition to defining the state policy, declares the tree as a protected legal asset; the second on public trees establishes criteria and prohibitions for different situations of extraction of specimens and minimum requirements for implementation and conservation, provides for the promotion of biological corridors on roads and routes and the distinction of trees that must be protected due to their heritage value in the community; and the implementation of a Provincial Forestry Census is instituted, for the updated and participatory knowledge of the forestry state, and the consequent setting of policies. It also creates a network of provincial nurseries to guarantee the official supply of required species. It also establishes that public buildings must have a minimum afforestation, as well as rural properties belonging to the provincial State, where double the percentage of afforestation imposed for privately owned property is required.

The municipalities and communes must continue to develop a comprehensive management plan for public trees, with the advice and opinion of a competent professional in the matter, which will be presented to the enforcement authority every four years.

In the third chapter, trees are regulated in private properties, so in urban industrial, commercial, service, logistics or other establishments, an index of green spaces and trees is established according to the environmental impact that it generates and in the Rural establishments establish minimum progressive percentages to afforestation.

The fifth chapter defines the Ministry of the Environment as the enforcement authority; in the sixth, the lands already reached by the obligations of the National Law of Native Forests are excluded; in the next one, the SantafesinoArbolado Fund is created, generating a commitment in the Provincial budget for the afforestation policy that is promoted and the last stipulates sanctions incorporating the recompositing of the environmental damage.

Now, in the next 120 days, the Executive Power must regulate the rule that repealed the 9,004 law and its regulatory decree of the year 1983.

Definitions to take into account

One of the first articles specifies the scope that certain terms will have for the law:

* Gathering of grains: Establishment dedicated to the storage, distribution, conditioning and conservation of grains.

* Biological Corridor: Territorial area whose surface is characterized by the predominance of length over the width (lines, bands, etc.) constituted and managed in order to provide connectivity between landscapes, ecosystems and habitats (natural or modified), which allows ensure the ecological, evolutionary processes and the genetic flow of the species, as a basis for the long-term conservation of biodiversity.

* Forestry curtain: Planting one or more rows of trees that form a barrier, generally located perpendicular to the prevailing direction of the wind, to reduce wind speed, soil movement and erosion, regulating weather conditions in its area of influence.

* Damage: Pruning of roots, wounds, application of toxic substances, burns by fire, fixation of foreign elements and any type of aggression that alters the natural development of arboreal specimens or causes their death.

* Extraction: Action consisting in uprooting the specimens from the plantation site.

* Feedlot: Area destined for the intensive fattening of cattle within an area.

* Afforestation achieved: Forest mass that, at the time of the evaluation made, exceeds eighty percent (80%) of coverage according to design and, in the remaining twenty percent (20%), observe the healthy evolution of species renewable.

* Management plan: The one that specifies the strategic decisions in operational plans that define objectives, goals and activities to be developed in a given time, with resources established for its fulfillment.

* Pruning: Cutting of aerial and underground parts that definitively separate them from the mother specimen.

* Competent professional: Graduate who, according to his / her qualification, has the ability to understand the purpose of this law.
* Tala: Elimination of the cup by cuts made in the trunk at different heights.

* Non-native species: Those exotic forest species or originating in other countries, adaptable or not to the edaphoclimatic conditions of the eco-regions of our province.

Species

Promoted by the Chamber of Deputies, the law included the creation in the framework of the Ministry of Environment of the experimental development program of the non-native forest species KIRI - Paulownia '. It is ordered to investigate, evaluate and follow the development of this species characterized by its capacity for greater absorption of carbon dioxide, emission of large amounts of oxygen, nitrogen, erosion prevention and its high resistance to extreme aggressions, "with the objective of determine the feasibility of implementation of their production and incorporation into the tree system instituted by this law ".

Plans

The Ministry of the Environment requested municipalities and communes to prepare reports and plans for public trees before March 1. It is recalled that the plan must be formulated and endorsed by a professional technical advisor, detailing the work carried out in 2018 and to be carried out in 2019.

Based on the inventory of trees in each locality, the tasks of afforestation and planting of specimens, extraction, pruning (June / July / August) and tree replacement.

Translator: Laura Gutierrez