Government’s planting of four million trees initiative is being seen as a gift to the nation says Turaga na iTaukei Navo of Dratabu Village Ratu Meli Saukuru.
 
He made the comments at the launch of the International Day of Forests launch at Vunayasi Primary School at Dratabu Village which was officiated by the Minister for forests Hon. Osea Naiqamu.
 
“We are grateful that Government has seen it fit to plant trees which would not only help in the fight against Climate Change but also benefit our future generations,” he said at the launch which was marked by the planting of 100 sandalwood seedlings.
 
“This gesture is truly a gift to our children and their children and we at Dratabu will partner with the ministry to plant more trees over the next few years.”
 
Naiqamu welcomed the comments of Ratu Meli adding that the initiative is part of Government’s efforts to encourage the sustainable management of our natural resources.
 
“The initiative is part of Government’s commitment to the Nation.  It is also part of Government’s commitment to continue to champion climate change, and to protect our natural environment and rich biodiversity, including our water sources,” Naiqamu said.
 
“It is also part of Government’s commitment to grow the Fijian economy through the forestry sector.”
 
“By investing in forestry education at all levels, Fiji can help ensure there are scientists, policy makers, foresters and local communities working to halt deforestation and restore degraded landscapes. In turn, healthy forests will help us to achieve many of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as local initiatives like the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation through the provision of alternative livelihoods whereby our communities are supported while at the same time protecting and conserving our forests.”
 
Naiqamu added that the 4 Million Trees initiative include plans to plant all types of trees from timber trees to fruit trees and ornamental trees. It includes non-wood species like bamboo and candlenut trees, to name a few.
 
“I wish to acknowledge the chief and people of Dratabu village and the school management for your foresight in allowing us to plant more trees on your lands and I have every confidence that your children and future generations will reap the rewards of your visionary leadership.”
 
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