NATION

Sawmillers Concerned With Increase In Logging Licences

Some forest harvesting companies in the North have raised their concern on the number of logging licences being handed out to new parties. “If we are to move forward we
01 Aug 2017 11:00
Sawmillers Concerned With Increase In Logging Licences
Attendees at the workshop. Photo: Josaia Ralago

Some forest harvesting companies in the North have raised their concern on the number of logging licences being handed out to new parties.

“If we are to move forward we are to stop this because the forest population is decreasing at a rapid rate,” said Dalomo Sawmill Limited director Mohammed Samsood.

“And the high number of logging licences will worsen the situation.”

Mr Samsood was speaking yesterday during the Forest Harvesting Contractors meeting facilitated by the Ministry of Forests in Labasa on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by about 40 stakeholders.

Mr Samsood said that while the Ministry of Forests was trying to encourage the conservation of forests, they continued to hand out licences to people.

“If we are to move forward we are to stop this because the forest population is decreasing at a rapid rate,” he said.

Ministry of Forests monitoring, compliance and surveillance project officer Sailosi Taniela in response said: “After Tropical Cyclone Winston there was an explosion in the demand for timber and in terms of development we need to give people portable sawmills so it can facilitate the ripping of materials.

Mr Taniela said this was the reason for the increase in licences.

“We are importing timber from New Zealand because we are not able to supply for our own demands,” he said.

Mr Taniela urged forest harvesters to replant trees on logged land.

“Fiji has been a developing country for a so many years now and with development comes entrepreneurship ideas, people do have access to making business so that is where we are,” he said.

“We are at a crossroads so it’s up to us what we should do for the survival of the forests that we have left.”

There are a total of 35 logging licences in Vanua Levu.

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