NEWS

Fiji Times Sensationalises Termites, Says Authority

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) says it is gravely concerned at the sensational and politicised manner in which The Fiji Times is reporting on the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST). A
03 Oct 2016 11:18
Fiji Times Sensationalises Termites, Says Authority
Asian Subterranean Termites (AST).

Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) says it is gravely concerned at the sensational and politicised manner in which The Fiji Times is reporting on the Asian Subterranean Termites (AST).

A statement from the authority said: “The Fiji Times continues with its inaccurate, negative and biased reports on the AST issue while deliberately disregarding reports on positive aspects of BAF’s efforts to control, contain and eradicate these invasive pests.

“BAF has on a number of occasions issued media releases on the various initiatives undertaken by BAF to control and eradicate these invasive pests. However, The Fiji Times has failed to publish the pertinent information from these media releases.

“One such example is of BAF’s work in partnership with the UNDP Fiji Multi-Country Office to secure US$ 3.5 million from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) for its four year project to build national capacity to manage invasive alien species.

“The Fijian Government has put in a lot of effort and funds to assist the Fijian communities affected by these invasive pests. The treatment of AST through BAF is provided free of charge by the Fijian Government since the welfare of all Fijians and Fiji’s biodiversity is its priority. In respect of AST government allocates $600,000 per annum for the AST project.

“The Fiji Times reports, which usually give the impression that the spread of the AST is increasing, are questionable to say the least. The coverage on Saturday’s Fiji Times (1/10/2016) exaggerates the actual issue of AST.

“The article demonstrated the inability of The Fiji Times to comprehend basic technical issues such as the difference between Buffer Zones and Hot Spots.”

 

Fiji Times response:

Fiji Times Editor-in-Chief Fred Wesley said: “It is rather unfortunate that BAF believes The Fiji Times is sensationalising and politicising the termite issue.

“Obviously people were concerned about the turn of events in Lautoka last week. We reported what concerned people told us and we made an effort to get a response from BAF.”



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