RESOURCE and landowners should involve government in any planned development, says Commissioner Western Commander Joeli Cawaki.
He made the comment to landowners in the Western Division who attended a seminar organised by a mineral exploration company called the SLS Resource Group from Australia, held at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka on Wednesday.
He said landowners should make wise and sound decisions before accepting deals with investors.
Asked about the workshop, Cmdr Cawaki said: "The objective was basically a consultant company trying to sell its product.
"My fear here is that this group might manipulate the landowners. That is why I have to attend this meeting.
"They (SLS) are coming as a company trying to explore our resources and, therefore, landowners should be extra careful when dealing with these types of investors. There are people that stand between the landowners and investors and it is important for landowners to work with government."
Cmdr Cawaki said resource owners could not afford to work in isolation.
"Landowners need to be well-informed about the disadvantages and advantages of developing their resources and the impact it will have to landowners and their future generation.
"At yesterday's meeting, there was no representation from the TLTB, Lands Department and other concerned authorities as these are the very people that should form the partnership with landowners and government."
About 40 landowners and chiefs attended the workshop, including Ba Provincial Council chairman Ratu Jale Waisale Kuwe Ratu and Taukei Navo Ratu Meli Saukuru.