Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Relook: "How Frank Bainimarama's regime screwed up Fiji's Mahogany.." [Raw Fiji]

Bula all,
We have decided to reblog Raw Fiji's brief on this article as we believe it is important to note what has transpired over time since this 2006 coup by Bainimarama.
Many readers have often commented on spelling mistakes and structure of blogs. On this note, we again emphasise that many of the writings are done under the scrutiny of the Fiji military regime under Bainimarama. This together with his group of supporters in Fiji and overseas do all possible to either hack or block bloggers like us that are vocal about the happenings in Fiji.
Our reason for opposing this regime is clear. We do not condone the ongoing Human Rights Abuse.
We do not condone the ongoing extension of Public Emergency Regulation under which this Fiji regime is able to run its governance.  The list goes one to Indigenous People of Fiji being marginalised at the outset of the 2006 coup.
 For instance, most of the beatings and those that lost their lives were Indigenous Fijians. Why?? We want answers!!
Please bear with us if the speelings or the structure of these blogs do not make sense to you. For some like us it does make alot of sense.
Secretariat
Luvei Viti Think Tank Forum.
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Sent to you by fijian via Google Reader:
via Raw Fiji News by rawfijinews on 11/23/11
By real jack well the mahogany thing is not getting us that rate of return. its supposedly a billion dollar asset – but we are reading about mahogany trees being left to rot in the field and that sort of thing.
back in the 50′s/60′s when they planted those trees, those guys kept records of the varius plots – the point of keeping those records was because as the tree's grew you would be able quantify the yield by plot - and the forestry guys would be able to have the forest Rangers assess any variations on the ground (i.e account for new sprouting or damaged trees from weather variations etc etc etc) and they would be able to keep a database on those plots
those Rangers would have been checking the plots on a monthly basis and keeping records – we should have had records going back to when those trees were first planted.
and coming into the early 90′s we should have started tranferring all that information onto a digital interface connected into the broader digital land information system which Kamikamica and the late Tui Nayau were setting up
we would then be in a position to know EXACTLY HOW MUCH OF A YIELD WE HAD and EXACTLY HOW MUCH THEY WERE VALUED AT.
the quality of the trees would be known – and the value of each plot would be known based on the exact number of trees standing in each plot.
and the policy guys in Govt should have known what to do with the plantations – either we parcel them off into small lots and auction them internationally based on the yield value per plot and then sign up concession agreements for the guys who bought in OR go the Fiji Hardwood way which they went.
but either way we needed to know exactly what was in the field.
but we didn't.
there was no Transparency in what was going on and as a result we have squandered that so called billion dollar asset.
how much development have the people of Vugalei seen from those mahogany forests ? they have (or had) an estimated $50 million dollar forest standing in their lands over there - and how much of that $50 million have they actually seen ?
the Govt guys went and did things based on royalty – so guys come along and pick and choose which trees they want – and leave the rest of the trees they have chopped down to rot in the field – and so the full value of that plot is not realised – apart from the damage caused.
in other places in the world eg Germany they sell lots – guys have to auction for forest lots at market rates. they then purchase the concession to harvest those lots – and they go ahead and harvest for a limited concession period – the value of the concession is based on the value of the standing timber within the PLOT – and they are able to do that because they have a GIS and LIS system which is a database tied into that land information structures – they realise full value on their forests.
here we give concessions for a licence which is nowhere near the actual standing value of the trees – and then we hope that those guys go in a cut down trees and pay us royalties – but those guys go in and pick and choose – and the net result is we don't get full value on the yield per plot, bcause they only pay royalty on what they cut down and bring out
in one plot they take 25 trees and leave 50 trees to rot – and then in another they take 35 trees and leave 65 to rot – and so on and so forth.
and what do we get ? we get royalties for the 25 trees they cut in plot 1 and 35 trees they cut in plot 2 – and the remaining 115 trees are left rotting in the field.
so what was the point of our having planted all those 115 trees and nurtured that plantation ?
we end up with royalties return which don't reflect the actual value per plot in a 100 tree plot – we value each tree at $80,000 a tree – so we have a plot of 8000000 (eight million) dollars in value
the guy comes in and cuts out 65 trees – pays us 17.5% royalty on how much he has purchased it for from Fiji Hardwood (which is definitely not 8 million) and takes off – leaving the 35 trees rotting in the field that plot valued at 8 million dollars we have just flogged off for $900,000 to Fiji Hardwood for 65 trees plus 17.5% royalty to Forestry - 2 million or thereabouts give or take the damage done to the plot is complete – we can't use the remaining trees left to rot for anything other than secondary value the guys walks away with what he wants by picking and choosing. leaves the whole plot scavanged. what gives ? we give. hand over fist. and thats whats happening now. we are losing money lots of money.
that billion dollar mahogany asset is a myth – nowhere near it. we haven't retained any of its value – let alone structured deals to ensure that we recovered the full value of the plantation. we are making all these deals and having photo shoots – but the family silver is being flogged off for way below value whilst our economy descends into debt and sub par growth Things you can do from here:
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