Call to stabilise conditions of foothills

THERE is an urgent need to stabilise and improve environmental conditions of foothills in the Western Division.

This was the sentiment shared by head of the European Union delegation Andrew Jacobs while launching a forestry project in Nadi on Friday.

Mr Jacobs said the environmental conditions needed to be stable so as to reduce the economically damaging effects that erosion and sedimentation have.

“Repeated burning practices have led to a further deterioration of soil conditions,” he said.

“For agriculture, the consequences of these key processes have been the loss of productivity and the loss of fertility of the soils in the long term.

“This phenomenon is particularly dramatic on the sloping foothills which are predominantly located at the edge of the cane belt areas.”

Reforestation projects by the European Union now aims to reverse ongoing soil degradation on sloping foothills within pilot sectors in Drasa, Koronubu and Malolo.

“Those sectors have been selected as they were highly susceptible to soil erosion.

“The idea is to show that through forestry plantations, we can not only protect soils from erosion and restore their fertility but can also provide long-term revenue to the populations, farmers and communities living on those lands.”

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