Call to plant trees

Vunivau Village landowner Isoa Baleirotuma plants a Dawa tree. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

THE Ministry of Forests is calling on landowning units to plant trees on bare land within their land boundaries.

The planting of trees is part of the ministry’s Reforestation of Degraded Forests Program.

Program official Saula Maca said Government gave $700,000 for reforestation of 700 hectares of land around the country —paying landowners to replant trees.

Mr Maca said in the past year, Government allocated $500,000 for the reforestation of 500 hectares of land.

“Fiji’s forest cover is diminishing every year at a rapid rate and the ministry is concerned about this,” he said.

“Through this program we are working with landowners and members of the communities to replant trees in logged areas.

“Those landowning units interested in joining the initiative can express their interests to their nearest forestry office with the consent of 80 per cent of the mataqali members.

“Only members of the landowning unit above 18 years can give their consent.”

Mr Maca said the landowning units could also appoint three trustees and open a bank account through which members could be paid the incentives from the project.

“Government actually pays those involved in the forestation projects. It is time that we started planting trees to ensure a brighter future.”

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