Upgraded nursery for 31,200 seedlings

THE recent upgrade of the Korotari nursery to cater for an increased capacity of 31,200 seedlings is expected to further the Ministry of Forests’ efforts to encourage the cultivation of native trees.

Funded by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program’s (SPREP), Pacific Ecosystem-based Adaptation to Climate Change (PEBACC), the nursery supports activities such as native forest conservation, re-establishment of native forest and agroforestry.

Forestry Extension Officer North, Maleli Naikasava said this year the North managed to exceed its target to replant 125 hectares of forests after it successfully planted 143 hectares.

Mr Naikasala said this was the Northern Division’s contribution to the national target of replanting 500 hectares of forests this year.

“In the North, we have the highest timber extraction and there is a great need to replant trees immediately,” he said.

“This is important for the restoration of water catchments on islands like Mali and if this doesn’t happen now, we will have no trees in 20 years time.”

“The existing sawmills employing up to 500 people in the north will close down and there will be no work for the communities.”

Mr Naikasala said the improved nursery would also provide for a good storage facility that would preserve and improve the hygiene of their seeds.

“We are thankful to the FAO and SPREP’s PEBACC for their support to the ministry and the people of Fiji to restore their forest ecosystem which is a way of addressing climate change,” he said

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