Faith-based program to save environment
THE National Faith-Based Environment Stewardship Program Initiative was launched by Local Government Minister Colonel Samuela Saumatua in Suva yesterday.
Col. Saumatua said the launch was a sufficient testament of the deep-rooted commonality that bound all faith-based organisations amid apparent environment challenges.
"There is a critical worrying depletion trend of biodiversity across the planet, some of our dispensable ecosystems have already exceeded their carrying capacity," Col. Saumatua said.
"Humankind has clearly stepped beyond some of its safe planetary boundaries.
"Under all these environmental pressures that continue to build-up under a ‘no care attitude' majority, an incremental improvement in managing the global environment is therefore not sufficient.
"Instead, we urgently need bold and decisive transformational changes in the way we conduct ourselves."
He said Fiji had been an active player in the global environment after the ratification of notable multilateral environmental agreements on biodiversity, climate change, ozone-depleting substances, waste and pollution management and land degradation.
"Fiji's ongoing active participation had recently seen its selection and confirmation to board level representation to a few of these global forums.
"So far Fiji has continued to forge on boldly using its available resources to meet her obligations under these global commitments — it has not been at all easy."
Col. Saumatua said after successive earlier governments' lack of political will to endorse the Sustainable Development Bill for some years, Fiji's first environmental legislation, the Environment Management Act was finally passed and gazetted in 2005.
"This paved the way for Fiji's environment regulations for waste and pollution control and environment impact assessment which came into effect in the period of 2007 to 2008," he said.