No issues raised on Nawi development, says minister

MINISTER for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau has clarified that no issues regarding the development of Nawi Island was raised during a talanoa session in Savusavu last week.

Mr Koroilavesau visited the area and inspected the pearl farms belonging to J Hunter Pearls in the district of Nasavusavu and Wailevu.

“I was in Savusavu last week with the stakeholders looking at pearl farms for the tikina of Nasavusavu and Wailevu and there were no issues raised. I understand that they were consulted in 2005 and have agreed to the exercise,” he said.

“I have never seen a development where the developers are carrying out a lot of protective initiatives to contain any overspill from the development.”

Mr Koroilavesau said his team would only participate to evaluate the monetary value for compensation for loss of qoliqoli.

“We are normally tasked by the Ministry of Lands,” he said.

Concerned residents of Savusavu have publicly expressed disappointment over the development at Nawi Island.

Other concerns have included the impact of marine life and on the livelihood of the future generation of Savusavu.

Last month, the management of Nawi Island clarified that it was important for the residents and those concerned to understand how the methodologies worked.

In a statement, the management assured that it would continue to work hard to ensure that its targets were met during construction.

“Within the approval granted to Nawi, it is a requirement that a minimum of 10.2 hectares of mangroves be retained in the foreshore lease area.

“The Mangrove Conversion Assessment undertaken for the EIA (environmental impact assessment) calculated that if 11 hectares of mangroves on Nawi is removed as permitted (retaining 10.2ha), this would amount to 1 per cent of the mangroves of Savusavu Bay being lost.”