Government’s mechanisms to eliminate illegal logging in Fiji’s forests has noted a positive step with the number of activities on the decrease, especially in the Western Division.
This is a sign of the various platforms Government has introduced to ensure illegal logging remains a problem of the past.
Divisional forests officer Asaeli Mata said though numbers had come down to just two this year, they were working towards ensuring this activity was wiped out.
“In the past we used to have more than 10 cases of illegal logging, however with the different platforms used to monitor these areas, numbers have come right down to two cases so far,” Mr Mata said.
“They were recorded in Nadarivatu, and Ba and this just shows how people continue to find their way into other boundaries, especially in the interior.
The reports were from Fiji Pine. Mr Mata said illegal logging was evident in many parts of the Ba highlands, with causes attributed to the offer of money.
“Illegal logging is a challenge for forest owners,” the forests officer said.
“Most logging companies that operate right in the interior tend to break the law in the way they conduct logging. We have seen poor logging practices that have led to landslides and flooding, which is also a challenge to the department.
“Resource owners should take ownership of their resources in the best interests of their welfare, safety and future generations.”
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, had in 2010, stated that logging companies and sawmills should be closed if they condoned illegal logging.