‘Report illegal logging’

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Forests Pene Baleinabuli and Advanced Certificate in Applied Woodcraft graduates in a group shot yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

THE Ministry of Forestry has called on the public to report illegal logging activities.

Permanent secretary Pene Baleinabuli said there were businesses logging illegally and not keeping records.

He made the comments during a graduation ceremony last week where he said the forestry sector contributed only 0.6 per cent to Fiji’s overall gross domestic product (GDP).

He said when compared with all other natural resource sectors in Fiji, the Ministry of Forestry contributed the least.

He said this was because of a number of reasons, one being they had not reached the capacity to fully use forest resources.

“There are people who are logging without the knowledge of the ministry, only the people who are logging know of this but there are no records,” he said.

He urged the public to inform the ministry if they knew of any illegal activities being carried out.

“If you do not stop this from happening, the whole of Fiji will lose out on the resources.

“The owners of the resources will not be able to get the money they deserve and that’s an instant loss for them.”

He said only the illegal logger benefited from the indiscretion.

“We are on the verge of dealing with some of these companies, we want to take them to court because they are abusing the resources and dealing with it irresponsibly.”

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