For any individual to sell mangrove wood, the person needs to have an Endangered Protected Species (EPS) permit.
Environment director Jope Davetanivalu made this statement while responding to questions on the rise of mangroves being harvested and sold as firewood between the Suva-Nausori corridor.
Yesterday, the Fiji Times published a story on how families living in Veiraisi settlement, Narere and Nepani expressed their disappointment on how the harvesting of mangroves in their areas had affected their livelihood and exposed them to harsh weather conditions.
However, Mr Davetanivalu said the EPS permit allowed the sale of species that were listed in the EPS Act.
“For the cutting of the mangroves, a different permit from the Department of Forestry is needed,” he said.
He said if those permits were obtained and endorsed, the department assessed the area of harvest and the quotas, then the sale was legal.
He said the permit to cut mangroves was given by the Department of Forests.
He said they would assist the Forestry Department in the monitoring process.
Mohammed Hussain, who sells dogo firewood at the Laqere bridge, said his licence only allowed him to harvest matured mangroves.
Another condition of his licence is that he needs to implement a standard system on the size of mangroves being harvested, that is, setting a particular diameter or length that is supposed to be harvested.
By: Fiji Times