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FORESTRY URGES PEOPLE TO KEEP PLANTING TREES
It is important for all Fijians to keep on planting trees although the Year of the Forests has ended.
During an exclusive interview, Department of Forest principal extension officer Pita Rokobiau reiterated the need to keep on planting trees for our future generation.
“Approximately four million trees were successfully planted during the one million tree campaign and the Year of the Forests by the people of Fiji.We are encouraging them not to stop there and continue to plant trees wherever they are,” Mr Rokobiau said.
For the first time in the history of forestry in Fiji, the department managed to set up green houses around the country, especially in schools.
“When the year of the forest came to an end, the Forestry Department built a record of eight breeding areas throughout Fiji. Initially we hoped to have breeding areas all over Fiji but we decided to take this initiative to schools. This way children can learn the importance of forests earlier in life, “ Rokobiau said.
For the Northern Division green houses were set up Savusavu Secondary Schools, Bua College and at some schools in Macuata and Taveuni.
Likewise in the Western Division green houses were erected at schools in Nadroga like Tagaqe Primary School and also Nawaqavesi Primary School in the Ra province.
The green houses were used to breed indigenous tree species like vesi , dakua and damanu and acquired tree species like pine and mahogany.
Rokobiau said people should know that forests were known as the silent provider.
“Forests is also a source of energy, we use them as firewood, and are vital for livelihood because it cleanses the carbon dioxide and turns the air into oxygen. So just imagine without forests we would be breathing unclean air,” he said.
“There are many other benefits of forests like reducing the impact of climate change.
“Another benefit of having forest is that it reduces the impact of strong winds on our shores, so having the mangrove forest known locally as ‘tiri’ and ‘dogo’ reduces the impact of strong winds and waves on our shores.
The Department of Forestry is urging people to keep the momentum going and make tree planting a habit because the benefits are enormous not only for human beings but to all living things.