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Follow forest rules

Salaseini Moceiwai
Tuesday, July 08, 2014

FOREST harvesters and logging operators must be trained or certified by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests before engaging in logging activities.

The ministry's monitoring, compliance and surveillance project officer, Sailosi Taniela, said during a recent interview in Labasa that it was imperative for such people to be recognised by them.

"We are aware of some illegal forest harvesting activities and we are closely monitoring the situation and as such, we are conducting training for harvesters and operators so they have the required knowledge and skills," he said.

"Anyone who works with a harvester or is an employee of a logging company should also be certified by us.

"We want people to work according to the forest code of practice.

"One of the basic objectives of the code is to be able to maintain the multifunction role of the forest and to ensure that the impacts of environmental activities are minimised.

"Also, to ensure the viability of the forest in terms of the economical benefits of the forest industry.

"The code also emphasises on the safety of the workers."

Mr Taniela said they were also profiling logging companies and contractors.

"We want to ensure they have proper certifications, machines and also their workers are certified whether it is a chainsaw operator, machine operator or just a forest worker.

"For us, we conduct our forest monitoring and evaluation process every month where we analyse the work of all contractors and companies.

"In preserving our forests, we are also increasing our awareness to the community for them to take ownership and protect their resources."

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