IT is through sustainable development that Fiji can enjoy economic activities that benefit all communities and Fiji's fragile natural environment, says acting deputy secretary for Local Government, Urban Development, Housing and Environment Ministry Losana Rokotuibau.
She made the comment in Nadi while officially opening the celebration of Fiji's 25 years membership of an important global instrument for the protection of the atmospheric ozone layer.
Ms Rokotuibau said through sustainable development Fiji could achieve its commitments under the various international conventions it was a party to, including the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.
"Twenty-five years ago, Fiji signed the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which was initially signed by 21 countries in Austria in 1985, and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Depletes the Ozone Layer, which was signed in Canada in 1987," she said.
"The success has been on the protection of the atmospheric ozone layer while countries around the world continue with their industrial activities that give rise to gases and substances that have the potential to deplete the ozone layer.
"Fiji's ratification of both these treaties on the 23rd of October 1989 commits us to this global cause, which has now been proven to be a success by scientists, environmentalists, industrialists, and of course, governments the world over.
"The beauty about the Montreal Protocol is that it was the first environmental convention signed after the world wars that brought together the governments, scientists, environmentalists, industrialists, economists, and others to the same table, and start mapping out the way forward on how we can prepare policies, not only good policies, but policies that will work for the betterment of mankind and all lives on earth.
"These are policies that would lead to the phasing out of the ozone depleting gases.
Ms Rokotuibau said Fiji received its first Outstanding International Ozone Unit award on Successful Phaseout of CFCs in 2003.
"That was the result of phasing out the CFC's seven years earlier than the obligated timeline of 2010 under the Montreal Protocol. In 2007, we again received "Montreal Protocol Certificate of Recognition" award for our contribution to the global effort to protect the ozone layer.
"In 2008, extraordinary awards were again given to Fiji by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the US in our leadership and the protection of the Stratospheric Ozone Layer in the Pacific region.
"Again today you all witness the latest memorabilia in our participation to the world's first best Environment Document from the UNDP Rep in Fiji."
Ms Rokotuibau said all stakeholders needed to work together to achieve Fiji's commitments under the ozone conventions.