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Summit looks at sustainable development

Dawn Gibson
Sunday, June 15, 2014

IT MUST be understood that we are not only exposed to risks beyond our control, but also through our own actions. We are the source of many risks.

These were some of the points raised on Friday by Minister for Works, Transport and Public Utilities Colonel Timoci Natuva, at the closing of the Green Growth Summit in Suva.

Col Natuva said in order to develop sustainably, everybody has to make it their business to understand the risks of developing otherwise.

"For development to be sustainable it is everyone's business to understand as much as practically possible not only of the benefits but also of the costs of development," he said.

"The risks must be determined and a decision made as to whether the risks are acceptable or not.

"If the risks are not acceptable, the development must not proceed. If the risks are acceptable, development should plan to avoid or eliminate them."

Col Natuva said it was no longer good enough to place blame solely on external factors, such as Fiji's exposure to global fuel prices, noting that Fiji's demand for fuel had increased rapidly since independence and only looked to increase further.

"Our demand for energy — be it for electricity or transportation — must be sustainably managed and in this context, we must all work towards reducing our carbon footprints. We must work better together to facilitate, develop and strengthen the national enabling environment and decision-making processes.

"This enabling environment hinges on partnerships, informed decision-making, human resources and capacity building, governance mechanisms, regulatory frameworks, technology innovation and development strengthening private sector development and finance and economic incentives."

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