THE huge loss of land from deforestation during natural disasters in the Western Division is an issue that concerns Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests Lieutenant Colonel Inia Seruiratu.
While opening a forest policy course in Nadi yesterday, Lt-Col Seruiratu said while the economic disaster was huge, the environmental impact of the landslides were greater.
"We have progressed economically and while economic benefits are important, we also have to look at the social aspects and of course the environmental aspects as well where our disaster gap lies," he said.
"During recent disasters, our economic losses were huge because we can also admit the fact that we have acted irresponsibly."
He said the irresponsible act came from the lack of reforestation that was now being implemented by stakeholders.
"A few years back, we had two major floods in Fiji, one in January and one in March. The economic losses in those floods were huge."