NATION

Landowners Claim No Returns From Nature Reserve

  Members of a landowning unit in Korotari, just outside Labasa Town, told Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that they have not been receiving any lease nor returns for the past
22 Jun 2017 10:00
Landowners Claim No Returns From Nature Reserve
Turaga ni Koro Vunidalice Pateresio Ratui. Photo: Josaia Ralago

 

Members of a landowning unit in Korotari, just outside Labasa Town, told Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama that they have not been receiving any lease nor returns for the past 60 years from their nature reserve.

This issue was brought to the PM’s attention yesterday by Vunitalice Village headman, Pateresio Ratui, during a talanoa session.

He said they felt it was better to log the trees in the forest as a way of earning money.

“If possible, can they return our lease to us so we could harvest our forest and earn money from it,” Mr Ratui asked.

“It has come to our attention that dakua have been dying in this particular reserve and it would be better if we log the trees so we could earn an income for our mataqali and our families.”

Dakua is a native hardwood tree.

Responding to this request was a Ministry of Forests officer in the North, Maleli Nakasava, who said they would hold a meeting next week to clarify issues on the matter.

“This is a part of the two nature reserves in this area, which is the Korotari and Nakoromakawa reserves,” Mr Nakasava said.

The Prime Minister then told the landowners that they should contact his office if they were not satisfied with the results of next week’s meeting.

On the same note, Mr Bainimarama advised the relevant authorities to properly consult with the people on the issue.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 


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