BY SHEIK DEAN
An economist has stressed the need to have proper forest monitoring system such as a computerised one in order to ensure sustainable forestry.
University of the South Pacific’s Professor of Economics, Biman Prasad, made this suggestion during the Pacific Regional Forestry Technical meet which started at Novotel Nadi on Monday.
“Forests inventory need to be conducted to have a fair idea and workout economic value of what exists and what we are gaining or losing,” he said.
“The realistic approach needs to take into account the impact of harvesting practices on communities, nations and globally.
“A more realistic approach to forest management in the Pacific is needed.”
Fijian forestry sector
Professor Prasad highlighted the importance of the Fijian forestry sector where by the Fijian forests are worth $85 million per year.
“Forestry is a very important sector and also a contributor to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Fiji,” he said.
“It also provides employment, not big but enough to support the livelihood of families who depend on the forestry sector.”
Professor Prasad acknowledged that Government has good forestry policies, plantation and forestry programmes.
But he said these programmes need to be conducted properly.
Support for sustainable foresty
Meanwhile, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) has given its support for sustainable forestry during the meeting.
SPC deputy director general Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu said: “The SPC fully supports and promotes the use of new policies and programmes helping countries moving closer to sustainable management of their forest resources.
The meeting is themed Sustainable Forest Management for a Resilient Future in the Pacific Region on the threats and challenges facing the region. It will wrap up this Friday.
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