SUNCITY

New Batch Of 38 To Manage Forests

  Thirty-eight individuals will become the first batch of Forest Wardens when they graduate in April next year. And this is a much-awaited programme under the Ministry of Forests in
10 Dec 2016 11:00
New Batch Of 38 To Manage Forests
Forest Warden trainees from Vanua Levu with their training officer Mereoni Rokocaucau(second from right) at a logging site in Labasa yesterday. Photo: JOSAIA RALAGO

 

Thirty-eight individuals will become the first batch of Forest Wardens when they graduate in April next year.

And this is a much-awaited programme under the Ministry of Forests in an attempt to empower members of the community on how to better manage their forests.

In an interview with the Conservator of Forests, Eliki Senivasa yesterday he said the forest wardens who were currently undergoing their second module of training were expected to boost better forest management in communities.

“One of the main purposes of forest wardens is to empower members of the community to be our eyes and ears on the ground,” Mr Senivasa said.

“Forests in Fiji are owned by the community, by the people and most of them are not empowered to manage their forests.

“And they rely completely on Government to do that, but we want to devolve this process and start engaging them to participate in the proper management and looking after their resource.”

He said while forestry offices were centrally located, this would help them decentralise their service by equipping people on the ground.

“They are the first lineup because our offices are all centrally located. We will never know what is happening in Kubulau, or in Wainunu, Bua but these guys are there,” he said.

“It is also within the forest policy, enabling the people to sustainably manage their forests. They are the beneficiaries, if there is something illegal happening there, it will affect them.”

Mr Senivasa said while they were still trying to determine the key responsibilities of  these forest wardens, the roles they played was crucial to saving forests from illegal logging and abuse.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback: josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 


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