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Report Illegal Logging, Baleinabuli To Stakeholders

He has urged board members if they are aware of this illegal act and to report it to the nearest Police Station.
25 Jul 2019 17:11
Report Illegal Logging, Baleinabuli To Stakeholders
L-R: Ministry of Forestry permanent secretary Pene Baleinabuli Fiji Pine Trust Chairman Serevi Baleidrokadroka.

Board members of the Fiji Mahogany Trust have been urged to report any act of illegal logging in their area of service.

The call came from the Ministry of Forestry permanent secretary Pene Baleinabuli while opening the three-day Fiji Mahogany Trust Annual Board Meeting in Nadave, Tailevu on Wednesday.

The Ministry has received reports of illegal logging being carried out in the country.

“These people who are doing this are with and without logging license. They log trees in the day and transport it at night,” he said.

He has urged board members if they are aware of this illegal act and to report it to the nearest Police Station.

“If this keeps on happening, it’s not only the landowners that suffers, it’s the Government and the whole of Fiji that will be affected.

“We still have to find out more about this illegal logging, whether they have their license or not.

“We are appealing to the people to stop doing that and work within the law, work within their licensing conditions. If they don’t have a license please come and get it from the Ministry.”

Logging license

Mr Baleinabuli said they were also trying to facilitate the ease of doing business with the Ministry.

“As we speak the Ministry is trying to look at how efficient we can issue licenses.

“Whereas in the past it used to take weeks and months, but this time the directive is to see if we can give it within a week, as long as it its valid.”

Conservation was also vital in the process.

Fines imposed

The Ministry also impose fines on illegal logging.

“Currently, the Ministry imposes fines but we are also trying to see whether the fines are enough. At the moment the fines can be as much $1,000 only. But for me I think that needs to change.”

The Ministry confiscates the timber from these illegal loggers.

“Right now what we want to do is to review our fees and charges on illegal logging, and we have already started working on it and it should commensurate on the kind of activity that is going on out there.

“We are also trying to create more awareness to the community on illegal logging on how will they suffer since it will be a big loss for them.

“We are working hard now on how we can track down on these people.”

He also urged the board members to have some knowledge on business background and making sure that their operations are intact.

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