Aim to plant 50,000 trees

Five villages on Nairai Island in Lomaiviti have joined forces to plant more trees to address the drastic impacts of climate change on their home island.

Villagers of Natauloa, Tovulailai, Lawaki, Vutuna and Waitoga had firsthand experience of the effects of the natural phenomenon as they are located along the coast. Vutuna Village headman Sitiveni Rogowale said upon hearing the Minister for Forestry Osea Naiqamu discuss the 30Million- TreesIn15Years initiative on air, he decided to meet his counterparts from other villages before reaching out to the ministry.

“We agreed it was a worthwhile project to support as we would not only help ourselves but our future generations as well,” Mr Rogowale said.

Villagers of Waitoga in Nairai making a head start in potting their seedlings for tree planting this year. Picture: SUPPLIED

Forest guard Etuate Kotoiwasawasa, who hails from Waitoga Village, spent a week visiting the villages in Nairai to advise villagers on what tree species would grow well on slopes, flatland and on coastal areas.

Mr Kotoiwasawasa said he had also advised villagers to start their own village nurseries instead of bringing seedlings from Viti Levu.

Natauloa Village headman Eremasi Uluiviti said all five villages had set goals to build their own village or community nurseries.

“Come August or September this year, we expect to be planting seedlings that we have raised in our nurseries,” Mr Uluiviti said.