12 Oct 2005

Regional official clarifies stance on pine and biodiversity in Fiji

12:36 pm on 12 October 2005

A senior official at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community has clarified his stance on recent comments about biodiversity.

The adviser to the SPC's Forest and Trees Programme, Sairusi Bulai, was reported as saying that pine planting was threatening biodiversity in Fiji.

Mr Bulai says pines are actually contributing to biodiversity.

He says pine plantations are rehabilitating grasslands and allowing native trees to come back.

Mr Bulai says pines are contributing to the social, environmental and economic development of rural people in the pine growing areas of Viti Levu.

Contrary to the earlier report, Fiji Pine Limited doesn't clear native forest to plant pine trees.