Ministry assessment at $115k for Nareba

Landowners inspects the fallen trees on their mataqali land in Galoa, Serua last May. Picture: Supplied

A TIMBER compensation forest clearing assessment by the Forestry Ministry for the Nareba clan, Nakorowaiwai of Dranikula Village in Galoa was $115,262.40 for about 661 trees that were sawn by Energy Fiji Ltd (EFL) contractors.

Nareba clan consultant Pauliasi Tuiwai said the compensation did not take into consideration the loss of benefits to their future generations.

“They had already started cutting the trees when we complained.

That’s when they stopped and the forestry people came in to assess,” Mr Tuiwai said.

“We also got our independent assessment done and the sum was a big difference. The forestry (ministry) can do the pre-harvest inventory, but there is no gazette fee on logs. Only Fiji Hardwood can do the assessment on the maturity (trees).”

In a letter to EFL, the Forestry Ministry stated an officer carried out the assessment for the clan and noted that there were two species felled, namely kauvula and majority of mahogany trees, a total of about 661 trees.

According to the Forests Ministry, the compensation rate was worked out on the total volume of logs multiplied by the sawn timber taking into account recovery of 50 per cent for kauvula and 40 per cent recovery for mahogany.

Mahogany trees were compensated at $1200 flat rate and kauvula at $900 flat rate.

These are the current sawn timber prices at the Timber Utilisation Division in Nasinu, the letter stated.

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