Environmental, water conservation legislations undermined by multinational corporations: Catanasiga

CPDE delegation including Catanasiga (back row third from left) pose during a break from sessions outside the UNHQ, New York. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI Council of Social Services executive director Vani Catanasiga highlighted the agenda of multinational corporations (MNCs) increasingly undermining policy coherence on water security in small island developing states at a UN meeting in New York, US.

Ms Catanasiga said the resounding call from civil society was for better policy coherence as environmental and water conservation legislations were increasingly undermined by MNCs interested in minerals and logging.

“These are under threat along with the livelihoods, homes and culturally-significant sites of rural and indigenous people,” Ms Catanasiga told the forum.

“While most local NGOs and community-based organisations recognise the critical role of multistakeholder partnerships for water security, we have yet to see deliberate efforts to include our perspectives.”

She urged the forum to ensure that multistakeholder partnerships on water security extended beyond governments and the private sector.

“Multistakeholder partnerships that pay attention to environmental and social justice to people over profit and keep private sector accountable.”

Ms Catanasiga also urged development partners to support efforts to improve technology for the harvesting, storage and sustainable use of rainwater for the benefit of atoll island communities.

Ms Catanasiga who is at the HLPF as a Pacific member of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness (CPDE) delegation was among two other Pacific CSO representatives that provided interventions at the HLPF thematic review yesterday.