Private forest usage guidelines in Rwanda - Part II

  • Category: Management
  • Author: Fabrice Feyton
  • Published: Oct. 11, 2020
  • Views: 470


Forest owners are true heroes and they deserve a lot for their unmatched contribution to climate change mitigation. In this second part, we are navigating the process of securing a harvesting license for smallholder forest owners. 

Logging/harvesting license

Before you proceed with logging activity, check your land title certificate for the area covered by your forest, and most importantly write down your area in hectares. You can check unit conversion on google, it’s pretty simple.

According to RFA, a forest is an area above 0.25 hectares occupied by trees on a cover of at least 10%, and those trees must have at least 7 meters of height. You are an owner of a forest if you have a land title for that plot of land, and salute to your undoubted contribution to the integrity of our climate.

This part is going to cover forests below the total area of 2 hectares and the minimum area.

Category 1: Area in the range 0.4-2 hectares

Those forests are mainly owned by private citizens and are used for fuelwood production to use in the household. Those forests are logged continuously but not intensively as clearcutting is unlikely to take place unless there is an investor involved to buy the products. Even so, those forests can be used as a source of income to those families, this drive them to logging without license mainly because smallholder forest owners are not aware of conditions required to request a license.

Requesting a permit

These permits are requested on Sector office where the forest is located. This is done by writing a letter addressed to the Executive secretary of the sector highlighting the following information:

  1. Location of the forest (Village, Cell, Sector)
  2. Address of the requestor
  3. The area covered by the forest
  4. Tree species planted in the forest
  5. Equipment to be used in logging
  6. Land title certificate

On the letter requesting the license, you need to provide supporting documents including

  1. Duplicate of National Identification Card
  2. Duplicate of land title or equivalent

Granting permit

After submission of the letter, an officer in charge of processing forest harvesting license request, visit the forest alongside the Cell Development Officer to access the productivity of the forests and to provide advice on what to be done to improve the productivity of the forest. If the officer decide that the forest meet all criteria and is approved to be harvested. Those criteria will be discussed soon in another part.

The requestor pays service fees which is currently 10, 000 thousand Rwandan francs through RRA. The process is pretty simple.

Duration of the permit

The permit to harvest a forest within this category last one month counted from the day the permit was approved and signed by the Sector Executive Secretary.

Important notice

Even though I focused on requesting permits on the sector level, sometimes even those permits are processed by the district. In such scenario the sector officer will surely guide you on how to request that permit and all requirements.


Part III is on it's way, please create an account to stay uptodate with new contents

Missed part I, please check it out here: Part I 

I am student in Forestry and am happy to contribute to the available knowledge regarding this field. I am interested in use of data and technology to improve how forest sector is perceived and to improve investments in the sector....

Follow me:

Add or View comments

Leave a comment

Be the first to comment