Vodo: Tree survival a priority

Outrigger staff planting mangrove seedlings on Tuesday. Pictures: WATA SHAW

Governmentwill not only look at achieving the target for number of trees planted, but it will also closely monitor growth to ensure survival rate.

Minister for Forestry Kalaveti Vodo made this comment at the opening of this year’s International Day of Forests held at the Ministry of Forestry’s station in Korotari, outside Labasa Town.

He said forests contained 162 billion tonnes of carbon, more than half of the global carbon stock in soil and vegetation.

“Healthy forests help keep global warming in check,” he said.

“Forests and trees are a solution to most of our problems, they help buffer exposure to heat and extreme weather events caused by climate change.

“They purify the water, clean the air, capture carbon to fight climate change, provide food and life-saving medicines and generally improve our well-being.

“We, therefore, must make it our business to safeguard these precious natural resources.”

Mr Vodo said through the national 30 million trees in 15 years initiative, more than 16 million trees were planted across Fiji by youths, schools, civil society organisations, church groups, individuals and communities.

“Forests are often linked to many things including the environment, conservation, climate change, socio-economic development, employment, and national development.

“Trees and the planting of trees play a vital role in this regard.”

This year’s theme is “Healthy Forests for Healthy People” which will focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 on good health and wellbeing and SDG 15 on life on land.

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