Destructive harvest

Sulaymaniyah forestry police issue warning against tree felling for honey

SULAYMANIYAH – The Sulaymaniyah Forestry and Environment Police are enforcing new measures against the practice of felling trees for natural honey extraction, with violators facing fines and imprisonment.

Hemin Kamarkhan, a spokesperson for the Sulaymaniyah Forestry and Environmental Police, detailed the consequences to 964media: “Anyone caught cutting trees to extract natural honey will be fined up to five million Iraqi dinars ($3,815) if the tree is old.”

Kamarkhan added that in addition to financial penalties, those found guilty will face legal action and imprisonment. He also noted that offenders are required to plant more than ten saplings in the location where the tree was cut.

The method often involves targeting hollow trees, which serve as natural habitats for wild bees. Beekeepers or individuals who collect honey traditionally cut down these trees to access the hives within the tree trunks.

This practice not only results in the loss of trees, which are crucial for carbon capture, providing oxygen, and supporting ecosystems, but also destroys the homes of wild bees. The loss of bees can lead to reduced pollination, affecting food supplies and biodiversity.

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