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Fiji Time: 8:36 AM on Friday 25 April

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Pay what is owed

Maciu Malo
Wednesday, January 09, 2013

THE Lands Department will this year revise the 2005 Mangrove Management Plan (MMP) with the objective of increasing the compensation paid out to the government and fishing ground owners, says Lands Ministry permanent secretary Tevita Boseiwaqa.

His comment comes in the wake of the increasing number of mangrove areas being cleared for development purposes.

Mr Boseiwaqa said there was a need to review the MMP with regards to the increasing number of developments made to mangrove areas compared to the minimal returns being paid out to traditional fishing rights owners.

He said the current mangrove cost compensation paid out to qoliqoli owners was poor compared to the compensation made on the land with regards to development undertaken at the sites.

Mr Boseiwaqa said since government was the custodian of mangroves and fishing rights, it was important to ensure qoliqoli owners received their just dues.

"We need to take an active part in reviewing the MMP and how it is used for development," he said.

"We will revise the 2005 MMP and look for ways to rightly compensate fishing owners on the damage done to mangroves.

"Currently, when clearing mangroves for development purposes, compensation is made only for marine life loss which include crabs and fish.

"We are not taking into account the effects on reefs, the benefits of mangroves in the ecosystem and the endemic birds that shelter in the mangroves."