Prolonged dry season


National Trust of Fiji chair Robin Yarrow and SPC’s Sairusi Bulai attend yesterday’s consultation with stakeholders int he North yesterday. Photo credit: LUKE RAWALAI


The prolonged dry season of last year has been labelled as one of the worst to be experienced in Fiji within the past 70 years.National Trust of Fiji’s executive Robin Yarrow said if this sort of weather pattern persisted, it would be a worry considering the amount of bushfires that occurred within the dry period.

Mr Yarrow said cases of unmanaged forest fires had worsened during the past few years.

“People are becoming more careless with fires destroying the important ecosystems that sustain our islands,” he said.

“Fires in my lifetime have grown worse and they damage trees species, farms — making hills prone to runoff, causing flooding and loss of life.

“Bushfires have also contributed to the loss of topsoil affecting agriculture and contributing to flooding because of heavy silting of drainage systems and waterways.

“If these bushfire cases continue it, will undermine our very own food security.”

Mr Yarrow said native forests were not free from the scourge of bushfires.

“On top of these, our young generation are learning from their elders that the easiest way to establish farm-lands is to burn forests,” he said.

“This is why we have begun consultations in the North, this week, on the draft national strategy produced in November last year.”

Edited by LUKE RAWALAI, Fiji Times