Bid to realign of operation plan

Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu and FDB CEO Mark Clough following after planting trees in the Dogoru forest yesterday as part of the launch. Picture LUKE RAWALAI/FILE

THE Ministry of Forestry is placing an importance on the development of the operation plan for the new financial year.

This was mentioned by the Minister of Forestry, Osea Naiqamu while addressing the Ministry of Forestry 2019-2020 operational plan workshop yesterday.

“It is critical that we take stock of our performance this year and to determine whether we achieved the desired results and whether our work has made an impact on the lives of the people we serve,” he said.

“It is also critical to strategically chart the way forward and to ensure our operation plan is realistic, measurable and achievable.”

He also went on to say the budget aimed to curb expenditure, therefore the ministry allocation had been reduced by $542,900.

“What this means is that we have to work smarter to deliver all our responsibilities.”

According to the minister the national budget focuses on building a strong economy and a productive society.

“The national budget builds on the unprecedented achievement of our economy and looks ahead with ambitious aspirations for our economy, for our businesses and for our people.

“And it ensures resilient progress in a changing climate, a changing environment as well as the changing global markets.”

The 2019-2020 Budget Estimates states the ministry’s allocations would support the enforcement of forestry legislation, policies and regulations to sustainably develop Fiji’s forests.

As per the information stated in the budget kit the total allocation for the Ministry of Forestry in 2019/2020 is $16.5 million, comprising $11.3m for operating expenditure, $4.5m for capital expenditure as well as the VAT of $0.7m.

With new strategies also being introduced to cultivate pine in the maritime regions as well as improve the ministry’s processes to add value to forestry stakeholders, to even capitalise on opportunities in wood energy and plantation development.

The kit also states the ministry aims to shift the sector to adopt a more modern and holistic approach, seeing to the facilitation of the provisions for timber resources, bioenergy production, habitat preservation, clean water production, biodiversity conservation, employment and carbon sinks.

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