2.6 million trees planted over 22 months

Minister for Forestry Osea Naiqamu officiates at the opening of the Lololo station nursery in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fijians have planted 2.6 million trees and mangroves covering more than 2000 hectares of land across Fiji in the past 22 months, says Forestry Minister Osea Naiqamu.

He made the comment while opening the $40,000 Lololo Nursery Station on the outskirts of Lautoka yesterday.

Mr Naiqamu said Lololo was once a breeding place for foresters in Fiji and it was fitting that the location was chosen to continue the legacy of breeding for transplanting.

“To the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities Land Resources Division (SPC LRD), thank you for funding the nursery and choosing this location for the Ministry of Forestry as the site for the Lololo nursery,” he said.

“SPC has over the years supported its member countries in the sustainable management and utilisation of their land and forest resources and products.

“In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), SPC was engaged to facilitate the implementation of a number of activities under the Fiji Global Environment Facility (GEF) 5 STAR R2R Project.

“In Fiji, SPC works with the Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Agriculture, through the R2R Project, in creating awareness on the sustainable management of our forests and landscapes.”

The Lololo nursery was one of three nurseries that would supply seedlings for project catchment areas in the West and would continue to support the Government’s 30 Million Trees in 15 Years initiative.

The nursery would have a holding capacity of 50,000 seedlings for native, fruit and plantation tree species in addition to the 35,000 nursery seedlings that are already stocked in the ministry’s Lautoka nursery.

Mr Naiqamu said the nursery would also ensure the ministry would continue to support tree planting in the catchment areas after the Ridge to Reef Project phases out in October next year.

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