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1568ha of forest cover harvested

Luke Rawalai
Friday, February 23, 2018

BETWEEN August 2016 and July 2017, a forest cover of 1568.72 hectares was harvested on Vanua Levu.

Officiating at the opening of the Jaydil Sawmill nursery in Vatubogi yesterday, Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu said the province of Bua comprised 39 per cent of the total forest area that was harvested.

Mr Naiqamu said in terms of reforestation, a total land area of 144.5550ha was replanted on Vanua Levu during the last financial year.

"The total land area replanted in the province of Bua comprised 30 per cent or 43.140ha of the total land area that was replanted," he said.

"The total land area replanted in the province of Bua contributed only nine per cent towards replacing the total forest area that was removed from the province during the last financial year.

"These replanting programs were funded by the Government through my ministry under the reforestation of degraded projects.

"Incentives are also provided under the project to assist the communities in their development project."

Mr Naiqamu said in addition, Government had approved a reforestation initiative, focused only on the planting of native species, which would make an important contribution towards the enhancement of the resilience of forests and rural communities in terms of climate change.

"The challenge for my ministry is to balance the two, forest harvesting and forest conservation," he said.

"We are working very hard on this and we are encouraging land owning communities and the private sector to partner with us in this regard."

Mr Naiqamu also lauded the opening of the nursery at the Jaydil Sawmill, adding it was the first sawmill to manage its own nursery.

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