Vanuatu will join the world in

celebrating the International Day of Forests on March 21st 2017.

The theme for this year is “Forest and Energy”, celebrating the importance of forests’ contributions to the energy sector.

This year’s event is important for Vanuatu particularly as a forest dependent country. The 2007 Agriculture Census reported that 95% of Vanuatu’s households which is 32,096 households use fuelwood as the main source of energy. As population increases, the use of wood energy also increases.

On Efate alone, increasing harvests of ‘namariu’ wood on Siviri land as fuelwood to process and sell as charcoal at Port Vila Market, has prompted the village leaders to ban charcoal makers from other villages from harvesting ‘namariu’ on their land.

Also charcoal makers who sell bags of charcoal at Chinese shops are suspected of using low grade charcoal wood knowing that Chinese cannot tell the difference between good charcoal and bad charcoal.

It is only when Port Vila residents buy the bags of charcoal that they discover it is not effective.

This year’s World Forest Day will be celebrated in all six Provinces and in Port Vila, the event will be held at Tagabe Agriculture Station on the road to the airport.

The main activities at Tagabe will be the display of different wood cooking stoves, especially wood efficient and smokeless stoves that are produced and sold locally. Fuelwood efficient wood cooking stoves are promoted throughout the world as a greenhouse gas migrating activity; use less firewood means less destruction to the natural forests.

Producers of firewood and charcoal on Efate will also participate in the event, displaying their products as well as do cooking demonstration. There will be a lot of activities happening during the day including poster competition and quizzes, speeches and panel discussion from representatives of the fuelwood sector.

Mahogany wildings will be freely distributed by the Departments of Forests to anyone who wanted to plant a tree to commemorate this year’s. Therefore if your schedule is not too tights, come join this world celebration, and grab a seedling for your fuelwood for the future.

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