The government is considering introducing changes to the Act – Forest Management Plans under the court's microscope

Luc Williams

The deputy head of the Ministry of Culture and Environment informed in an interview with PAP that the ministry is working on a draft act that will introduce the possibility of appealing against Forest Management Plans (PUL) to administrative courts By social organizations. He added that the draft amendment to the Forest Act should be ready within a few weeks, and in May it would be included in the government's legislative work.

The amendment to the law will enable social organizations to appeal against PUL

“Currently consultations with social organizations regarding forest management plans are not obligatory. Some foresters conducted such consultations, but most did not because they did not have to. Now this should change, because PULs can be effectively appealed to the administrative court. The project is practically ready and we are conducting final consultations on it. At the beginning of May, we would like the change in the law on this matter to enter government work and be visible in the… list of legislative works of the Council of Ministers” – said Dorożała.

The representative of the Ministry of Environmental Protection explained that the new regulations are intended to “empower all social and ecological organizations” in the area of ​​PUL development. He added that the role is also to be strengthened regional environmental protection directorateswho will review these documents. Opinion about PUL they also have it in their area present municipal councils. He is also to be involved in the process health departmentwho would give opinions on PULs regarding spa forests.

“After the decision to approve the PUL, we anticipate a 30-day period during which it will be possible to challenge this document to court,” added Mikołaj Dorożała.

Who and when will be able to appeal against the PUL?

The deputy minister added that entitled to appeal against the PUL there would be local social organizations that are related to a given area. “The priority will be those residents and organizations that operate in a given forest district,” he pointed out. Organizations, associations and foundations that have already been registered (at least for 12 months) would have the right to file a complaint against the PUL.

The representative of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage added that the new regulations will include: catalog of premiseson the basis of which it will be possible to challenge PUL to court.

The CJEU wagged its finger

On inconsistency of Polish regulations with EU regulations regarding the possibility of filing a lawsuit against PUL in the courts in 2023, he pointed out Court of Justice of the EU. For example, a few years ago ecological organizations tried unsuccessfully to block it in administrative courts changes in the PUL of three forest districts in the Białowieża Forestwhich involved larger tree cuts.

What is PUL used for?

Forest Management Plan (PUL) is the basic document forest management developed for a specific forest district. It contains a description and assessment of the condition of the forest as well as the goals, tasks and methods of forest management. It is prepared every 10 years, among others. pursuant to the Forest Act.

Author: Michał Boroń


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