Our mission is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 2.5 million tonnes by 2024 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
This was announced by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, during the celebration of International Day of Forests with the theme “Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption” at the Ministry of Forestry Headquarters Monday.
In highlighting the value of forests, Prime Minister Bainimarama said, “we need to look at forests not just as a source of raw materials, but as a means of absorbing carbon and helping to sustain life on this planet”.
“Fiji has established plantations of pine and mahogany as part of the Government’s long-term strategy to support timber trade, while also protecting and conserving the remaining natural forests,” he said.
“In the past, forests were valued only in terms of the products they yielded. That’s how forestry shows up when a country’s gross domestic product is calculated — by how much timber is produced, how much pulp for paper, how many wood chips.”
“In the process, the world has under-valued the role of forests as a carbon sink. That is changing. With climate change upon us, we know that we must finally recognise the total economic value of forests,” he added.
Prime Minister Bainimarama highlighted that Fiji is embracing this concept firmly by entering into a carbon trade agreement with the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility, and the five-year Agreement is aimed at addressing the underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation through the sustainable management of the natural forests.
The Ministry of Forestry is currently conducting the National Forest Inventory and expects it to be completed before the end of the year.
“The inventory will provide a more realistic and updated account of the status of Fiji’s forest resources and also quantify the level of forest carbon stock available,” Prime Minister Bainimarama said.
“This improves our bargaining position with regards to the carbon trade agreement and any future carbon trade agreements we might wish to make,” he added.
Prime Minister Bainimarama also planted a tree as part of the 30 million Trees in 15 Years campaign undertaken by the Ministry of Forestry.
SOURCE: FIJI GOVT/PACNEWS