25 Jun 2002

Plans by Fiji govenrment to protect mahogany from logging will not prevent lawsuit

10:27 am on 25 June 2002

The Vanua Mahagony Landowners Association has dismissed plans by the Fiji government to comply with UN conventions of declaring mahogany an endangered species.

The Association's lawyer, Isireli Fa, says government plans to protect Fiji's mahogany trees will not stop his clients' battle of ownership against the state.

The Vanua Mahogany Landowners Association wants the government provide it with a 50 percent equity in the state-owned mahogany plantations.

Mr Fa says the latest move by the government makes no sense as mahogany in Fiji is not an endangered plant.

"Mahogany maybe an endangered species in relation to mahogany from Brazil because that's an indigenous tree to Brazil. But I think as long as you have trees from plantations and it can be certified that it could be harvested in a sustainable manner then I don't think there's any convention or any law preventing that from happening. Mahogany right now around the world is being traded every day on the world market."

Isireli Fa.