AMMAN: The Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported Sunday that the Jordanian’s new agriculture law for 2015 issues in the official gazette. The new law will go into effect May 16, replacing the temporary 2002 law.
The 2015 law is an amended version of the temporary legislation, with the changes approved by Parliament and ratified by Royal Decree, Petra reported, quoting Agriculture Minister Akef Zu’bi. The amendments stiffen penalties related to violations on forests and pastures and address the issue of organic farming, he said.
Earlier this month, Zu’bi told reporters the ministry was drafting new regulations that ban issuing commuted sentences to those involved in violations in the Kingdom’s forests. “There are loopholes that allow the issuance of reduced sentences to those involved in forestry violation cases; therefore, we wanted to intervene and change the regulations that allow this,” he said at the time.
Ministry figures indicate that 1,399 violations in forests were registered in 2014 and 800 cases are still in court. Forests in Jordan constitute less than 1 per cent of the country’s total area of 97,000 square kilometres. The Kingdom is among the poorest countries worldwide in terms of forest cover, with the internationally accepted average of forest land standing at 15 per cent of the total area.