Fifteen arrests made this year

Qandil municipality tightens control on illegal logging

QANDIL, December 21 — In a significant move to support local environmental protection efforts, the municipality of Binari Qandil, situated in the Qandil Mountains, has made substantial progress in curbing illegal logging activities.

According to Dilsher Ibrahim, co-mayor of Binari Qandil, the municipality has significantly reduced tree-cutting within its district.

In 2023, 15 individuals were arrested for illegally cutting down trees, a notable decrease compared to previous years. “The penalties imposed on these violators have been channeled as revenue for the municipality, underscoring our commitment to preserving our natural resources,” Ibrahim stated.

The municipality, which operates independently of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and is in proximity to the PKK, has implemented strict regulations against the felling of both live trees and snags — dead or dying trees. “Cutting down snags is just as punishable as cutting down live trees,” Ibrahim emphasized, noting that the region allows a one-month window in November for locals to legally collect felled logs for winter use.

Ibrahim expressed optimism about the future, predicting a complete end to illegal logging activities by next year. “Our people are deeply committed to environmental protection, and we foresee a time soon when illegal tree cutting will be entirely eradicated in our region,” he said.

Binari Qandil municipality’s approach is seen as a sign of growing awareness and action towards environmental conservation in the region, setting a precedent for other communities to follow.