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Deal will preserve forests

Kalesi Mele
Monday, November 27, 2017

FIJIANS will no longer be allowed to clear native forests by 2030, says Conservator of Forests Sanjana Lal.

Ms Lal said this was one of the conditions Fiji agreed to upon signing the new national and corporate climate action on forests at the recent COP23 meeting in Bonn, Germany.

The climate action on forests, which is designed to keep nations aligned to the goals set in the Paris Agreement, leaves Fiji with only 12 years to prepare areas for plantation forests.

Plantation forests such as those for Fiji Pine Ltd are the only areas where cutting down of trees will be allowed.

Ms Lal highlighted this while speaking at the SPC-EU National Forest Fire Management workshop at the Shangri-La's Fijian Resort and Spa last week.

"I think this meeting should have been done a long time ago when we noticed forest fires or burning," she said.

"When the COP23 delegation returned we realised what they had done. They had already made a commitment that by 2030 there will be no more clearing of native forests. This means we have only these 12 years to prepare.

"Natural forests are diminishing in the whole world and we want to preserve our natural forests.

"If you need timber you need to plant it in a plantation. You can't cut the natural forest. Natural forests have been there since our forefathers

"So they will have to plant it in pine plantations or any other plantations."

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