Chapter-8 Provisions Relating to Religious Forest

Chapter-8 Provisions Relating to Religious Forest

  1. Religious forest: (1) The Division Forest Office may, for the protection of any religious site since ancient times and of the forest in its surrounding, hand over the national forest around that area to any religious body, group or community established under the prevailing law, for its protection as the religious forest.

                        (2)        The right in such forest shall not be deemed to have been transferred to such a religious body, group or community by the reason only that it has been transferred for protection pursuant to sub-section (1).

  1. Use of forest products in the religious forest: (1) The concerned religious body, group or community may use the forest products in the religious forest only in religious work.

                        (2)        The forest products obtained in the course of building and operation of a development project in the religious forest may be sold and distributed in coordination between the Division Forest Office and Local Level.

(3)        In making use of the forest products pursuant to sub-section (1), the trees shall not be felled in such a way that it may cause significant adverse effect on the environment or loss or damage publicly or soil erosion in the watershed area.

  1. Religious forest may be taken back: (1) In case the concerned religious body, group or community does any act contrary to Section 29 in the religious forest handed over pursuant to Section 28 or fails to operate the function required to be operated in the religious forest or fails to comply with the terms and conditions to be complied with pursuant to this Act or the rules framed under this Act, the Division Forest Officer may decide to take back such religious forest.

Provided that, prior to making decision to take back the religious forest, the concerned religious body, group or community shall be given a reasonable opportunity to submit its clarification.

(2)        A person, religious body, group or community that is not satisfied with the decision made by the Division Forest Officer pursuant to sub-section (1) may make a complaint to the Provincial Forest Director within thirty-five days of the date of receipt of information.

(3)        The decision made by the Provincial Forest Director in respect to the complainant received pursuant to sub-section (2) shall be final.