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Fiji Airways Staff Plant 3000 Mangrove Plants

Fiji Airways staff yesterday continued a pledge to plant a tree for every take-off with 3000 new mangrove trees planted at Saweni Beach in Lautoka. This surpasses the airline’s target
09 Dec 2018 12:39
Fiji Airways Staff Plant 3000 Mangrove Plants
Fiji Airways executive general manager Shaenaz Voss (middle) with some the staff and their family members at Saweni Beach in Lautoka yesterday after the mangrove planting project. Photo: Charles Chambers

Fiji Airways staff yesterday continued a pledge to plant a tree for every take-off with 3000 new mangrove trees planted at Saweni Beach in Lautoka.

This surpasses the airline’s target of planting 7000 for the year.

In October, the staff had planted 4800 trees.

Second year of the intiative

This is the second year running for this environment initiative, with the airline planting over 5,500 trees in 2017.

“I’m extremely proud that we have been able to plant over 7,000 trees this year, honouring our commit­ment to plant a tree for every take-off,” Andre Viljoen, Fiji Airways managing director and chief execu­tive officer said.

“As an airline, we are well aware of the carbon footprint of our busi­ness and our industry.

“We continue to take various measures to minimise waste and reduce our carbon footprint.

“Our narrow-body fleet upgrade, through the replacement of our Boeing 737NG with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, will reduce our CO2 emissions by 14 per cent per aircraft.

“Building on to that, the tree-planting by our staff will help not only help offset carbon emissions but also protect Fiji’s vital coast­lines.

“Through these efforts, we are supporting the work of Prime Min­ister Voreqe Bainimarama and the Fijian Government in internation­al fora.”

Mangroves unsung heroes

Mr Viljoen said mangroves were really the unsung heroes of coastal habitats in the fight against climate change as studies showe that pound for pound, mangroves can seques­ter four times more carbon than rainforests.

He thanked the department of Forestry and acting director of Op­erations Western, Uraiya Racule, as well as the Department of Envi­ronment for their assistance with the airlines initiative.

“They provide us with vital sup­port in identifying areas which re­quire mangrove reforestation and help provide the seedlings we need to carry out the planting.

“It’s wonderful to see that even as Fiji hands over the Presidency of COP, there are increasingly greater efforts being undertaken at home to fight climate change.”

Mr Racule said one of the minis­try’s duties was looking after the coastal mangroves as there had been increasing use of mangroves for firewood, thus destroying the living habitat of sea life.

“As you can see the mangroves are coming back and from the minis­try’s side we are delighted.”

Mr Racule has urged people who own fishing rights where man­groves were to preserve them and not destroy the place where some sea life go to for food.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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