Opinion

Editorial: Plant A Tree Today For The Sake Of Our Children

Restore degraded and deforested land and its impact on the current daily needs as well as its sustainability for the future generations
13 Feb 2019 09:30
Editorial: Plant A Tree Today For The Sake Of Our Children
A USP gardener plants a seedling of a vesi tree. Photo: University of the South Pacific

The Ministry of Forestry’s ‘Four Million Trees in Four Years’ initiative has the support of chiefs and landowners.

We must thank the Minister for Forestry, Osea Naiqamu, for taking this initiative to the grassroots level.

After the launch by President Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konrote at State House where he planted a tree, the minister visited villages and distributed seedlings.

Now chiefs, heads of landowning units and villagers in the Ba, Nadroga and Naitasiri provinces have welcomed the idea behind the initiative.

Naqara Village chief Ratu Uraia Rakavono, in receiving the Ministry of Forestry delegation headed by Mr Naiqamu, said he was overwhelmed with the initiative because it encouraged villagers to toil the land by planting more trees for their own benefit and that of their future generation.

The people of Fiji should unite and work together in planting more trees, to give our children and the future generation a cleaner and safe environment.

The initiative will see the planting of all kind of trees – from timber trees, fruit trees, ornamental trees to non-wood species, and mangroves.

Apart from the four million trees, not less than 500,000 mangroves will also be planted over the next four years to protect our coastal ecosystems.

The initiative also builds on the UN 2030 agenda for SDG (Sustainable Development Goals), which aims to sustain natural forest globally.

The initiative’s main objective is to:

  • Protect and conserve existing forests;
  • Restore degraded and deforested land and its impact on the current daily needs as well as its sustainability for the future generations:
  • Protect the traditional forest cover and the biodiversity that it shelters; and
  • To eradicate poverty and contribute to Fiji’s economic growth.

A research has said: “Plantations of trees is important as they improve the life and fulfill essential needs of mankind. During photosynthesis, the trees break- down food materials and consume carbon dioxide.

With the help of sunlight, the trees produce carbohydrates. Moreover, trees support life by providing habitats for different species such as squirrels, bees and birds. Trees cleanse the atmosphere by absorbing carbon dioxide from the environment and releasing oxygen. The trees cool the environment through their leaves by absorbing the sun’s heat. Thus, there occurs cooling in the atmosphere. The trees provide shade to houses and streets.”

A quote from ‘One Tree Planted’ (a non-profitable organisation focused on planting trees around the world) reads: “Trees provide us with many benefits necessary for survival, including clean air, filtered water, shade, and food. They also give us hope and insight, and courage to persevere – even in the harshest conditions. Trees teach us to stay rooted while soaring to great heights.”

Amit Ray, an Indian author, and spiritual master known for his teachings on meditation, yoga, peace and compassion, in the book ‘Peace Bliss Beauty and Truth: Living with Positivity’, said: “You may not plant millions of trees, but if you can take care of one single tree with love and care that will make you great.”

Let us support this tree planting initiative and plant trees on your land or around your compound.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

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