BY SAMIE WAIKORI
REFORESTATION programme in Malaita province needs support from national government.
The concept of replenishing forests is popular in Malaita, and many are engaged in the activity despite limited support; however, the gap caused by lack of national support is quite telling.
Officer In-charge of Reforestry in Malaita, Mr Ronnie Aiwewe made the statement yesterday following “slow development experienced on the sector in the province”.
He said from 2000 to 2008 AusAid funded reforestation programme in the country, and the programme was handed over to national government in 2008.
Aiwewe said since then the programme has slowed down due to lack of priority given it by national government.
He said for Malaita, the programme is growing – people have gone into reforestation, but in a very slow rate compared to the rate of logging industry in the province.
Aiwewe said in 2012, his office conducted an inventory survey on reforestation programme in the province and the survey showed growth in the industry.
He said summary of the survey showed 2,591 hectares of land were reforested under the programme in the province. Adding that out-growers reached a total of 5, 426 hectares under the programme.
Aiwewe said his office is yet to take a recent inventory survey, but his office assumes that reforestation is beyond 2012 figures because reforestation activities have been happening since.
He said in 2020, his office engaged a tribal group in Central Kwara’ae in a 2.5 hectare reforestation of Mahogany tree.
Aiwewe said the group are still going on with the programme.
He stressed that 2020 was a challenging year for the programme because government did not support reforestation.
Aiwewe thanked MPG for supporting his office on the programme especially on nursery establishment as certain nursery sites were established for farmers to collect nurtured trees for planting.