Minister for Forestry Osea Naiqamu says that his Ministry’s budget has been reduced by just slightly over half a million which means is that they have to work smarter to deliver all their responsibilities.
Naiqamu highlighted this while speaking at the Planning Workshop of his Ministerial Staff held in Colo-i-Suva.
He also encouraged his staff to read up the budget address so that they can align their operational plan to the five key pillars which was highlighted which includes Strengthening law and order, Protecting our natural environment, Empowering young Fijians, Spurring technology and innovation, and Building certainty in an uncertain world.
Naiqamu says that they will need to review the Forest Act and subsequent legislation and policies to ensure, among other things, the conservation of forestry resources, transparency and fairness in issuance of forest harvesting
He says that they must also ensure that correct information is obtained on the trees harvested and the output of sawmills.
The Minister highlighted that they must also ensure the fair and equitable distribution of revenues as part of Fiji's social justice and security measures.
He says the forestry sector could contribute to climate change mitigation, including carbon trading, and building climate resilient communities.
The Ministry of Forests was allocated $17.1 million in the 2018/2019 national budget. In the 2019/2020 budget they have been allocated $16.5 million.