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Burning of forest reserves an offense

August 28, 2018 12:45 am

The burning down and destruction of forest reserves and vegetation is an offence.

This was highlighted to villagers of Nasasaivua in Kubulau, Bua this morning.

Speaking to the villagers Corporal Waisale Sokoiwasa of the Northern Community Policing says the Forest Act prohibits any damage or destruction to forest reserves or vegetation and this includes deliberate burning of our forests.

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Corporal Sokoiwasa says anyone caught will be taken to task.

He states that while they have noted an increase in forest fires in Vanua Levu, they are not receiving any reports from the public.

Sokoiwasa says in most instances, the community know the culprit but family and traditional ties often prevent them from reporting.

Villagers questioned the boundaries in which they could act if they catch anyone burning their forests.

They have been reminded that the Village committee can arrest the person and then inform police who they will then come, re-arrest him and charge him accordingly.

Anyone found guilty of the offence is liable for a fine not exceeding $10,000 or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 12 months or both.

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