Ravu urges action against illegal logging

April 2, 2024 7:50 am

[File Photo]

Forestry Minister Kalaveti Ravu is urging Fijians and stakeholders within the timber industry to collaborate with the Ministry in addressing the issue of illegal logging.

He reveals an incident from late last month involving the seizure of a five-ton truck carrying illicitly obtained Vesi Slabs in Vanua Levu.

The confiscated Vesi slabs have an estimated value of around $10,000 and were found to have been loaded from Naividamu in Seaqaqa.

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Ravu says with the assistance of the Fiji Police Force, Ministry of Forestry officers on Vanua Levu successfully seized the vehicle and transferred it to the Labasa Police Station.

Ravu highlights that the Ministry of Forestry had initiated a “Say No to Illegal Logging” Pledge in February 2022 at Labasa on Vanua Levu, resulting in a noticeable reduction in illegal logging initially.

However, he expresses concern that more recently, stakeholders might not be upholding the pledge as diligently as before.

Given the gravity of the situation and its potential impact on the community, Ravu emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about the prevalence of illegal logging activities.

He also states that the consequences of such illegal activities go beyond mere economic losses, affecting the resource owners who are the guardians of these natural resources.

Ravu says this not only deprives resource owners of their rightful benefits but also jeopardizes the sustainability of both the environment and the economy.

He also reiterates that any tree removed for commercial purposes must be licensed, emphasizing the necessity of adhering to legal regulations.