The NFP will advocate genuine environmental protection and advocacy, not simply because the talking about the environment is fashionable, but because it is the right thing to do to ensure that our generations to come inherit pristine natural surroundings that err on the side of precaution, rather than development that causes environmental destruction.
“The sudden interest in environmental advocacy outside Fiji by the Government is brow-raising. It is no secret that the Government has been advised that it can greenwash its credentials through international platforms like the COP23 Presidency and Oceans Pathway.”
“That would not be an issue IF right here at home, the policies and laws are in synch with our big, bold motherhood statements to the world’.
“A clear example is the 10c plastic bag levy. Has the government been able to independently assess and tell the public if single-use plastic bags currently choking our plants, oceans and landscape have been reduced after implementing this policy? Or was it just greenwashing a revenue measure”?
“A more sensible approach would have been to increase tariffs on all plastic manufacturers OR like China phase out single-use plastics across the board with a fixed and short timeline”
“If we look at carbon emissions, the Government is fond of saying that we have low carbon emissions. That is correct when we compare ourselves to the rest of the developed world, but it is not an excuse to then lower tariffs on hybrid vehicles without phasing down the number of car’s on our roads systematically. Not only are our carbon emissions increasing, the traffic congestion on our roads are leading to road rage and other headaches.”
“Similarly, our EIA processes are weak. This was admitted to by the Attorney General in Parliament. So we have to question all the developments like construction and dredging, that have occurred with dubious EIA processes, on their watch. We have a high rise coming up in the city area, that even at a glance causes concern to many people passing by.
ALL EIA’s should be freely available public documents. In fact the Ministry of Environment should be the first to make all these documents available in electronic format to save tree’s! Yet we have archaic laws that make these documents out to be some big secret. The Ministry of Environment should be protecting the environment, not commercial interests who may not want their records to be publicly available.”
“Any developer in Fiji whether local or international must know that NFP will be about putting our people first, so we will make all EIA reports publicly available. We will be sincere about public consultations on development, and we will most definitely be looking to amend archaic laws that do not err on the side of precaution.
We will ensure that Free, Prior and Informed Consent is adhered to on developments on native land so that the Nawailevu mess that this Govt put together and that was debated in Parliament earlier, is never repeated.
Our fisheries and ocean will be seriously researched and protected with innovation from our young minds. If breath we take depends on a healthy ocean, this is a no-brainer.
Green Bonds, Blue Carbon, Climate Insurance and all these high-flying approaches that try to treat Carbon like a commodity, will be carefully scrutinised to ensure that our people are the primary beneficiaries and know what is being negotiated in their name.
Our manifesto will be more detailed on these issues and we have many environmentalists in our party, like our Vice President, who I know will be keeping us on our toes about this.