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Naiqamu Takes ‘4Million Trees in 4Years Initiative’ to The Grassroots

The Minister for Forestry, Osea Naiqamu, is taking the ‘4Million Trees in 4Years Ini­tiative’ to the grassroots communi­ties. From January 4 to 18, the Minister has toured the provinces of
23 Jan 2019 11:00
Naiqamu Takes ‘4Million Trees in 4Years Initiative’ to The Grassroots
Minister for Forestry Osea Naiqamu (front row standing third from left) with villagers of Tau in the Nadroga Province

The Minister for Forestry, Osea Naiqamu, is taking the ‘4Million Trees in 4Years Ini­tiative’ to the grassroots communi­ties.

From January 4 to 18, the Minister has toured the provinces of Ba and Nadroga and planted 1844 trees, along with village consultations.

Landowning units from various villages in the two provinces had also approved a total of 14,330 acres of vacant land to be used for this initiative, which would require 1,595,674 seedlings to be planted.

Mr Naiqamu visited six villages in the Ba Province – Vagadra, Drata­bu, Nagado, Vatutu, Yavuna and Namulomulo – where he planted 693 trees consisting of sandalwood, and fruit trees such as ivi, avacado, coconut and citrus.

In the Nadroga Province he visit­ed nine villages – Narewa, Nasovo­tava, Raiwaqa, Mavua, Silivalevu, Emuri, Lomawai, Tau and Laselase – where he planted 1151 trees con­sisting of sandalwood, mahogany, marasa, koka, tavola, dakua, vesi and fruit trees namely ivi, avacado, coconuts and kavika.

With the theme of the initiative ‘Plant for Fiji, Plant for the Future’, Mr Naiqamu, in addressing villag­ers of the two provinces, said the Fijian Government, through this initiative, was doing all it could to protect and preserve the existing forests.

“We also want to restore degraded and deforested land and its impact on the current daily needs as well as its sustainability for future gen­eration,” the minister said.

“Our ministry is also focused on protecting the traditional forest cover and the biodiversity that it shelters.”

Yavuna Village headman Sireli Ruguruguivalu thanked the gov­ernment for the 4Million Trees in 4Years initiative, because it would encourage and enable villagers to tend to their land.

“Now government, through the Ministry of Forestry will train us and give us the resources in the form of seedlings to plant and for me this is a great initiative for us here at Yavuna Village,” Mr Rugu­ruguivalu said.

Former Fijian rugby union player and coach, Alifereti Dere, who was at Vatutu Village for the consulta­tion, commended the Government for the initiative.

“Most of us abuse the land by for­est fires and just by leaving it idle. I thank the Government for this ini­tiative as it will motivate us to not only make good use of our land but to plant for Fiji and plant for our future generation yet to come,” Mr Dere said.

Vagadra village headman Saven­aca Vulawalu said they were feeling the effects of climate change daily when they had to use their hand-held fans most of the time.

“It just shows there are less tress around to supply pure clean air for us to breathe and the heat is un­bearable most times,” Mr Vulawalu said.

“This initiative by the Ministry of Forestry will help us to help our­selves in planting more trees for our betterment and that of the fu­ture generations yet to come.”

Source: DEPTFO News



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