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Forestry Sector Hits Record Exports in 2021 – Fiji Plants 15M Trees, Mangroves in 3.8 Years

The forestry sector has achieved a record breaking export revenue in Fiji’s history raking in $118.5 million in 2021. This is an increase of $41.9M when compared to 2020 exports of $76.6M.
The 2021 achievement, in a pandemic-affected period, is testament to the hard work and commitment by the Ministry's management and staff, together with all the stakeholders in the forestry sector.
Prime Minister and Minister for Forestry, Honourable Voreqe Bainimarama, stressed this in Parliament last Thursday night when he delivered his motion statement on the Ministry’s Annual Reports for 2016-2017, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. 
Since it’s separation from the Ministry of Fisheries into a single portfolio in 2016, the Ministry of Forestry has expanded tenfold to record high performances.
PM Bainimarama said it was necessary for the two ministries to focus more on the opportunities available in the two resource-based sectors to be able to contribute effectively to the nation’s economic and social development. The Ministry of Forestry is in a better position to work with the forestry sector to boost economic returns and contribute to Fiji's Gross Domestic Product.
According to the Fiji Bureau of Statistics recent report, the real GDP for 2021 stood at $8.4 billion, a reduction of 5.1 percent when compared to the 2020 revised GDP of $8.9 billion. Five industries recorded positive growth, of which the forestry and logging industry was the second highest, contributing $34.1M in 2021, an increase of $7.5M, second to transport and storage. The total forestry sector contribution including other forest-related products in the manufacturing industry amounted to $152.9M.
The Ministry, on behalf of Government, wishes to thank the stakeholders in the sector for their efforts to reignite the economy and create employment opportunities.

Unqualified Financial Reports
In addition to the record export revenue, the Ministry also achieved for the first time an Unqualified Financial Report from the Office of the Auditor-General in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 financial years.
"The efforts the Ministry and the sector stakeholders exerted in these years have resulted in all these historic achievements, which will be reported in detail in our next Annual Report," the Prime Minister said. The Ministry has tabled its Annual Reports in Parliament up to 2019–2020 and expects to table the 2020–2021 and 2021–2022 Reports in the next session. This would not only mean that the publication of all its annual reports would be up to date, but importantly that investors will be able to identify potential opportunities while these are still current.
"As a resource-based sector often challenged with conflicting and competing demands, the annual budget allocation empowers the Ministry to develop initiatives to address these challenges and deliver effective and improved services while positively contributing to Fiji’s economic and social development and ensuring environmental integrity and our ability to address the impacts of climate change in the process," PM Bainimarama said.

Tree planting achievement
The Ministry is also pleased to announce that Fiji’s landscape restoration programme, which aims to plant 30 million trees in 15 years (#30MT15Y), has met its 50% planting goal in less than 4 years. In 3 years and eight months to be exact.
Fijians and visitors alike have helped plant over 15 million trees and mangroves since 2019, in an area covering 14,011.60 hectares.
Prime Minister Bainimarama said: "We are already achieving what we had set out to do through the separation of the Forestry and Fisheries Departments—a record of economic development and concrete sustainability.
These achievements need to be nationally acknowledged and celebrated as they reflect the Government’s commitment towards building a prosperous, cleaner, greener and a better Fiji.
"I commend the leadership and staff of the Ministry together with all the stakeholders in the forestry sector. I also take this opportunity to commend the work of the then Minister for Forestry, the late Honourable Osea Naiqamu, who was called to eternal rest in January this year. He has left behind a great legacy in spearheading Fiji’s national tree-planting efforts across all the provinces in Fiji, including the maritime islands," PM Bainimarama said.
"The whole of Fiji, including stakeholders in the forestry sector, private sector, academia, non-government organisations, religious groups, landowners, schools and youths, have all contributed to growing more than 15 million trees and mangroves in less than four years and that is a massive achievement for our nation," he said.
The Ministry will continue to coordinate Fiji’s land restoration and tree-planting campaign with the aim of expanding our forest cover and restoring degraded forest areas.

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