QUESTIONS on why the people of the Emalu landowning unit of Draubuta Village in Navosa had to be paid for the lease of their land held for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) were asked in Parliament today.
And in response, Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu the lease agreement had undergone a vigorous consultation process.
Mr Naiqamu said the Emalu REDD+ lease was a first of its kind in the country.
He said it was unique in that it served the purpose of forest biodiversity conservation.
It also served to reduce emissions and enhance carbon stock, which meant the area leased under this agreement would not only serve the purpose of forest conservation, but also involved the selling of carbon that was being stored and or captured by the said area.
For this reason, the consultation process was conducted between the Ministry of Forest, iTLTB, Ministry of Lands, relevant stakeholders and the Emalu landowning units.
"The reason is to have a robust and inclusive lease agreement that will set the precedence as we further expand REDD+ activities throughout the country."
The Emalu lease consultation process commenced last June and submitted for vetting to the Solicitor General's office last October.
Now, the lease agreement had been vetted by the SG's office and the Ministry of Lands and Forests were finalising the payment methods of the lease to iTLTB.
By Timoci Vula, Fiji Times
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