There is need to raise awareness on the important relationship that forests have with climate change.
Community forester Jalesi Mateboto highlighted this during a media briefing on Thursday- August 15, the 3rd Day of the 2nd National Climate Change Summit at Narewa Village in Nadi.
“We need to enlighten our people more often on the important relationship that forests have with climate change. Even though our people have knowledge on the importance of our forests, and trees, it is very critical to ensure they understood the relationship forests have with climate changes,” Mr Mateboto said.
“Especially in the area of carbon emissions and the fact that when excessive logging is done it contributes significantly to the high emissions of carbon which leads to the affect on our ozone depletion.
“Our forests are in deep stress and that it why our people, especially the owners of large forests are concerned,” Mr Mateboto said.
“About 200 hectares of forests are being cut everyday around the world and that is the same as or equivalent to 20,000 rugby fields when you compare the amount of trees cut and the amount of carbon emission created out it that contributes to the greenhouses gases emission globally.”
The forestry sector records 17 to 20 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions directly from the cutting of trees and forests. Its effects are then felt or translated as global warning which leads to climate change.
Mr Mateboto said community leaders needed to be educated and they must also educate their people of these real issues as a means to mitigate effects of climate change in Fiji.
“The forestry sector is actively involved in these activities by encouraging communities to plant more trees, decrease their rate of cutting trees, and also introduce agro-forestry methods in Fiji,” he said.
Forests or trees store carbon and just by cutting them or destroying forests, carbon is emitted into the atmosphere which directly leads to global warming.