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National strategy aims to raise forest fire awareness

12:30 Sat Dec 01, 2018

Taken from/By: Web
Report by: Kelly Vacala

In an effort to raise awareness on forest fires, the Agriculture Ministry is now working with Pacific Community and Institute of Foresters of Australia.

This is aimed to develop a national strategy for managing forest and rural fires in the country.

SPC Forestry Advisor of the Land Resource Division, Jalesi Mataboto says effective management of forests and fires will help to reduce carbon emissions and expand forest resources to support investments in reforestation.

He says the uncontrolled burning of fires in many areas is a major cause of concern and is a threat to the survival of our plantation forests and any future plantings within areas for timber, bioenergy or reforestation of degraded areas.

Mataboto adds fire management must be effectively addressed if all investments on reforestation are to succeed.

It was also highlighted that frequent burning of some landscapes had badly degraded the affected land to the extent that it would take a long time for the land to recover, if at all.

Current initiatives on forest fires will greatly improve the country’s efforts to integrate the forestry sector into Fiji’s Nationally Determined Contribution.

He adds that fire damage has been identified as a major risk and thus the projects support in the development of a forest and rural fire management strategy.

Meanwhile, a National Forest and Rural Fire Management Strategy workshop was held in Suva earlier this week.

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