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Rezoning impact

Torika Tokalau
Wednesday, June 04, 2014

THERE is a serious need to look at other options for industrial expansion at Waibola, Lami rather than destroy one of Fiji's most important and productive areas, says Dr Randy Thaman, professor of Pacific Islands Biogeography at USP.

He made his view known in a letter to the Lami Town Council objecting to the rezoning of Waibola from residential to heavy industrial.

Dr Thaman said the issue wasn't just of sustainable fishery and the effort that the people of Navakavu had put into improving the health of their reefs and creating a more sustainable fishery over the past decade.

"The real issue is that this area of coastline, foreshore and mangroves is upwind, and up-current from an important, and rapidly expanding greater Suva urban area and one of the most diverse and productive reef and lagoon and mangrove areas in Fiji," Dr Thaman said.

"In addition to the five main villages of Navakavu (Muaivuso, Nabaka, Waiqanake, Namakala and Ucuinamono), because of the predominate South East Tradewinds and associated alongshore currents, many other villages, such as Kalokolevu, Togalevu, Wainawa and even the resorts, villages and settlements between Suva and Sigatoka will undoubtedly, be probably affected by toxic pollution, buoyant solid waste, wastewater and the inevitable oil pollution (from boats, parking lots, etc) that will result from this proposed development."

He said rezoning should not be decided without any perceivable recent study or consultation with local communities.

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