The Minister for Forestry, Osea Naiqamu has taken the 4Million Trees in 4Years Initiative to the grassroot communities.
For the past two weeks from January 4th to January 18th Honourable Osea Naiqamu toured the provinces of Ba and Nadroga and planted a total of 1,844 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 utilized for this initiative which would require 1,595,674 seedlings to be planted.
The Minister for Forestry, Osea Naiqamu visited a total of six (6) villages in the Ba Province namely Vagadra, Dratabu, Nagado, Vatutu, Yavuna and Namulomulo village where he planted 693 trees which consisted of Sandalwood, and Fruit Trees such as Ivi, Avacado, Coconut and Citrus.
In the Nadroga Province he visited a total of nine (9) villages namely Narewa, Nasovotava, Raiwaqa, Mavua, Silivalevu, Emuri, Lomawai, Tau and Laselase village where he planted
A total of 1,151 trees in the province of Nadroga consisting of Sandalwood, Mahogany, Marasa, Koka, Tavola, Dakua, Vesi and fruit trees namely Ivi, Avacado, Coconuts and Kavika.
With the theme of the initiative being ‘Plant for Fiji, Plant for the Future’, the Minister for Forestry, Honourable Osea Naiqamu in addressing villagers of the two provinces said government through this initiative is doing all it can to protect and conserve 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,” Osea Naiqamu 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 through this 4Million Trees in 4Years initiative as 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,” Ruguruguivalu said.
Former Fijian rugby union player and coach, Alifereti Dere who was at Vatutu Village for the consultation commended the government for the great initiative.
“Most of us abuse the land by forest fires and just by leaving it idle and 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,” Dere said.
Vagadra village headman Savenaca Vulawalu said they are feeling the effect of climate change daily when they have to use their hand-held fans most times.
“It just shows there are less tress around to supply pure clean air for us to breathe and the heat is unbearable most times,” 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.”