SUVA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government aims to plant 30 million trees in 15 years to save the environment, a Fijian government minister said on Friday.
Speaking at the launching of the 2020 tree planting initiative for Naitasiri, one of the 14 provinces on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu on Friday, Fiji's Minister for Forests Osea Naiqamu said his ministry is committing 60 percent of its employees towards the government's tree planting initiative this year.
The employees will also help in the monitoring of illegal cutting of trees which is becoming a serious concern on the island nation, he said, adding that the aim is to plant around 512,500 plants by the end of the year in Naitasiri, Tailevu and Rewa provinces.
The minister encouraged landowners to plant trees that can be traded for money in the long run.
Naiqamu challenged the people of Naitasiri alone to plant 211,500 plants. This initiative builds on the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development particularly the Sustainable Development Goal 15, life on land, and supports the New York Declaration on Forests, which aims at ending natural forest loss globally by 2030.
Naiqamu said given the seriousness and the urgency to address climate change, the government has now increased the tree-planting target from "4 Million Trees in 4 Years" to "30 Million Trees in 15 Years".
He said this new target is a part of Fiji's nature-based solutions to the threat of climate change.