This Decree establishes the Mahogany Industry Council and provides for the continuation of the Fiji Mahogany Trust, which was established as a body corporate under section 5 of the Fiji Mahogany Act 2003 for the benefit of landowners and the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited, transformed into a privatised Company for the purposes of developing the mahogany industry in Fiji, including the harvesting and processing of mahogany forests. The Decree also concerns plantations of mahogany trees in relation with, among other things, mahogany leases and customary land rights.The Council shall supervise and direct the maintenance and development of the mahogany industry in Fiji and for the purpose supervise and direct the Trust and the Company. The Company shall be responsible for planting, harvesting and processing mahogany trees and marketing of mahogany timber in Fiji. The Minister may make Regulations to give effect to the provisions of this Act. Schedule 2 sets out rules the management and protection of mahogany plantation land.
Amended by: Mahogany Industry Development (Amendment) Decree 2014 (No. 3 of 2014). (2014-02-05)
Amends: Forest Decree 1992 (Decree No. 31). (1998)
Repeals: Fiji Mahogany Act 2003 (No. 15 of 2003). (2003-11-06)
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Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable.