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Naiqamu clarifies ownership issue

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

NATIVE trees planted under the Action Against Desertification — a program of which Government is a stakeholder — belongs to the landowners and not Government.

Responding to questions raised during a talanoa session at Nasavu Village in Bua last week, Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu said Government did not own the trees.

Mr Naiqamu said even though Government provided training and funding for the projects, it did not own the forest land replanted.

"If Government intends to own the trees it would have leased from landowners which did not happen in this case," he said.

"Instead Government assists landowners in setting up their nurseries, provide training and other forms of small funding, but the tree belongs to the landowners at the end of the day. However the planting programs will only assist Government to achieve its target under the Aichi Target 11 to revive 17 per cent of the nation's forests."

Mr Naiqamu also clarified the same issue on Mali island, Macuata, last Tuesday.

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