Fiji currently experiences an unusually long period of drought which already led to cuts in public water supply in the capital city of Suva. The vegetation is very dry and every kind of fire can easily turn into a devastating bush fire, especially at strong trade winds which prevail at this time of the year.
One such bush fire destroyed a part of a plantation of the company in the North of Vanua Levu. Several hundred seedlings that were planted on deforested land 2 years ago were burnt down.
The nurseries were not affected by the fire.
As a consequence of this incident all grass will be routinely cut on the whole area of new plantations and the fire break lines will be extended.
Our new saw mill was comissioned for the first time. A specialist from the manufacturer Serra conducted a 5 day intense training for our team members. Topics were installation, maintenance and operation of the saw mill. Special care was taken regarding secure handling and safety during operation.
The company extended the nursery capacities on its properties in Vanua Levu in order to significantly increase the number of seedlings to be created until November 2014 when the wet season starts and the new seedlings will be planted into the ground.
In order to protect the valuable trees growing on the properties of the company, an initiative was started with the goal to mark all borders. Patrols via horse are being conducted frequently in order to check the status of the borders.
An officer of the Forestry Departent Labasa visited our nurseries and plantations in Vanua Levu in order to check the status of the nurseries and the reforestation works and to provide further advice regarding the extension of the scale of the reforestation.
The Forestry Department supports our reforestation project since 2012 by training and advising our employees in
- creation of nurseries
- collection of seeds and seedlings in our indigeneous rain forest
- germination of seeds
- plantation of seedlings on the properties
The first seedlings that were planted in November 2012 have grown substantially meanwhile. The teak seedlings planted 18 months ago meanwhile have reached 4m height. The growth performance confirms that the processes established are well suited for the large-scale reforestation project.
Teak tree planted in November 2012 ... Same tree in May 2014 - 18 months after plantation:
Several thousand trees that were created in our nurseries in the last 9 months left the nurseries in the last couple of weeks and were placed in partly shaded areas in order to get accustomed to sunshine before they will be planted on the properties.
Trees leaving nurseries:
Trees ready to be planted on the properties:
The nurseries were refilled with newly created planting bags with seeds: