Environmental protection, robust environmental safeguards and Free, Prior and Informed Consent in development projects will be a priority of an NFP Government and there will be an end to administrative technicalities that undermine the food and human security of people in Fiji said Seni Nabou, the NFP spokesperson for the environment.
“The Fiji Times story highlighting the environmental travesty in Bua is both deeply concerning and outrageous ” said Nabou.
“It is all too convenient for the roadworks sub-contractor JJ Gravel Extractor and the Acting Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu to sidestep the issue and lay blame on the Environment Department and landowners for granting their approval when it is common knowledge that most of these projects are being driven top-down and the EIA processes are merely rubber-stamping what this administration wants”, added Nabou.
Nabou asserts that while national development is welcome, it should be not be at a cost to the people who depend on their immediate natural surroundings especially where food security is concerned. “This is why proper and robust EIA processes and allow for public oversight as destruction to one ecosystem has ripple effects to other areas,” said Nabou.
Nabou adds that Free, Prior and Informed Consent for landowners in all development projects are a priority of an NFP Government and that all development decisions under the Bainimarama administration that have sacrificed the environment and the people who depend on it will be reviewed and that appropriate sanctions put in place.
The NFP is calling on the Bainimarama administration to put in place a moratorium to gravel extraction until the rest of the EIA process is properly effected, scientific assessments of the environmental damage made public and compensation for landowners negotiations started immediately.
NFP spokesperson on Information, Media, Communications and Environment.