Fiji is blessed with a forest cover of 1.1 million hectares (ha) which covers 60% of our total land area and contributes around FJD$544 million annually in terms of ecosystem services. It continues to support increased export earnings, foreign & local investment, increased employment and economic growth, and support future generations.
Forestry Sector is an integral primary sector in Fiji and apart from contributing to economic growth; it ensures the conservation, sustainable utilization and management of forest resources. The Forestry Sector plays a vital role in Fiji’s economic, social and environmental wellbeing; and contributes 0.75 per cent to the country’s GDP. However, this does not take into account the other activities that Forestry is involved with, especially in the Value adding & Manufacturing Sector. Forestry is a viable sector which has contributed and supported the growth of a few other sectors and industries. It is also a vital source of energy, employment, livelihood and ecological integrity.
Native forests make up about 75.0 per cent of Fiji’s forest cover while Pine and Mahogany plantations make up 11.0 and 8.0 per cent respectively; and Mangroves make up 6.0 per cent of the forest cover. Softwood plantation mainly of Pine (Pinus caribaea), are established mainly in the Western Division while Hardwood plantation mainly of Mahogany (Swietania macrophylla), have been established on logged over rainforests, mainly on the eastern and central parts of the larger islands. Native forests area is 526,453 hectares, Hardwood plantation area is 58,978 hectares, Softwood plantation area is 76,171 hectares, and Mangrove areas cover 42,601 hectares.
The national annual native forest log production was averaged at 40,961 cubic meters per annum between 2011 and 2016. The total log production for Pine and Mahogany were averaged around 338,575 and 60,161 cubic meters respectively per annum for the same period.
Fiji has standing forest cover of 1,045,419 hectares representing 56% of the total land mass.
Mahogany plantations in Fiji are a unique resource with standing forests up to 40 years old.
Value adding Cocowood to veneer has great potential for high-valued commodity to thrive in Fiji.
Teak is an upcoming high-valued hardwood timber in Fiji that has the potential to do well in this country because of the climatic condition we have suited for Teak planting.
Fiji is a signatory to international and regional environmental conventions such the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Apart from exporting timber, higher monetary value can be obtained from adding value to the timber being processed. This can be in the form of furniture & fittings, artifacts and wood carvings.
The tax free region offers tax free status and exemption on the importation of raw materials, machinery and equipment.
The production of waste wood left over from harvesting can be converted to furniture and other decorative wood items.
Great opportunities for further plantation expansion for sandalwood.