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Forestry values collaboration with stakeholders

The Ministry of Forestry continues to value the partnership with stakeholders to renew our respect for nature.

One such partnership and collaboration saw the recent opening of the Lololo Nursery in Lautoka under the Ridge-to-Reef (R2R) programme which is jointly implemented by the Secretariat of Pacific Communities (SPC) and the Ministry of Forestry.

While opening the nursery, Minister for Forestry Honourable Osea Naiqamu said the Ministry is taking a new strategic direction towards achieving real sustainable forest management.

“It is no longer treating forestry in isolation from the national interest, but through collaboration, integration, and developing synergies with key stakeholders to achieve our national development goals and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

“As a result of this collaboration, I am told that the Lololo Nursery, which costs $40,000, is one of three nurseries that supply seedlings for the R2R project catchment areas here in the West and will continue to support Government’s tree planting revolution.”

Minister Naiqamu said that the Fiji’s tree-planting initiative that was launched by His Excellency the President in January last year, has now seen the planting of over 2.8 million trees and mangroves covering over 2000 hectares of land across Fiji in the past 23 months.

“With Fiji now viewed around the world as a respected advocate on global issues such as climate change, I commend every Fijian and most importantly our forestry stakeholders present here today for the combined efforts in our national tree planting initiative. Without your help and support, our fight against climate change will be very extremely challenging,” Minister Naiqamu said.

The Lololo Nursery has a holding capacity of 50,000 seedlings for native, fruit, and plantation tree species. This will add to the 35,000 seedling capacity at the Ministry of Forestry nursery in Lautoka.

The nursery will also ensure the Ministry of Forestry continues to support tree planting in the catchment areas after the R2R Project phases out in October next year.

The SPC has over the years supported its member countries in the sustainable management and utilisation of their land and forest resources and products. In collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), SPC was engaged to facilitate the implementation of a number of activities under the Fiji Global Environment Facility (GEF) 5 STAR R2R project. Locally, SPC works with the Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Agriculture through the R2R project in creating awareness on the sustainable management of our forests and landscapes.

“This means identifying areas that need to be protected, areas that need to be set aside for infrastructure, agriculture and economic development and areas to rehabilitate or restore,” Minister Naiqamu said.

Minister Naiqamu said the R2R project has developed in leaps and bounds in its efforts to preserve biodiversity, eco-system services, sequester carbon, improve climate resilience and sustain livelihoods through a ridge to reef management of priority water catchments on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.

“It will bolster Fiji’s  marine protected areas (MPAs) through an enhanced, representative and sustainable system of Locally Managed Marine Area (LMMA) including greater protection of threatened marine species.”


The selected priority catchments are Ba River, Tuva River and Waidina River in Viti Levu and Labasa River, Vunivia River and Tunuloa District in Vanua Levu.The protected areas help conserve threatened ecosystems such as lowland tropical rainforest and moist forests and species such as endangered plants, amphibians, reptiles and freshwater vertebrates and invertebrates. The R2R project aims to cover all activities within a catchment and out to the sea to ensure natural resource sustainability and biodiversity.


Minister Naiqamu said that the negative impacts of land-based activities in these areas will be reduced through the development and implementation of integrated catchment management plans including mangrove protection, the adoption of appropriate sustainable land use practices and river bank restoration in adjoining upstream water sheds as well as restored and rehabilitated forests.


In October this year, the R2R project planted over 100,000 seedlings covering an area of 385hectares.  Out of this, 119 hectares were planted in the Ba catchment, 134 hectares in Waidina, 82 hectares in Labasa and 50 hectares in Tunuloa. The total seedlings planted included over 40,000 fruit trees, 50,000 of native inland coastal species, and 17,000 of exotic species.

The SPC’s R2R project has so far invested $1.3million for this calendar year with its objective to encourage stakeholder collaboration, providing technical advice, monitoring and implementing the approved R2R Project work plans and ensuring compliance with national protocols and SPC and UNDP’s rules and regulations.

Next year SPC is looking at injecting $1.1million for the R2R project and this is to ensure that our future generation will continue to have a sustainable future and assist Government in the development, utilisation and management of Fiji’s forest resources, which covers more than 60% of Fiji’s landmass.

Minister Naiqamu added with the Ministry’s vision of Sustainable Forests, Our Future, it is a mammoth task for the ministry to manage this natural wealth alone, which is why Government is grateful to their partners and stakeholders for their assistance in being good stewards of forests.

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