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Outdated laws under spotlight

Dawn Gibson
Monday, June 16, 2014

OVER exploitation and weak law enforcement have resulted in adverse impacts on the long-term sustainability of natural resources.

This was highlighted on Friday at the Green Growth Summit 2014, under the topic "Sustainable Island and Ocean Resources".

The draft report outlined that the current status of these resources relied on two legislation Acts dating back to the '90s and only one recent decree, enacted in 2012.

"In the marine resources sector, the Fisheries Act 1942 and Marine Spaces Act 1978 have been the main legislations governing the sector," it read.

"Similar to marine and coastal resources, various legislations and guidelines such as the Agriculture Landlord and Tenant Act, iTaukei Land Trust Act, Land Conservation and Improvement Act, Mining Act 1974 … are in place to manage land resources."

Questions were raised however, pertaining to the relevance of such outdated acts — some dating back to the 1940s on which ministries still rely on today.

And to this, the draft document explains that for over an entire decade, efforts have been made to "modernise the Mining Act to provide a sound regulatory environment to support the development of the mining sector".

"The continued emphasis solely on economic development is beginning to erode the resilience of the natural ecosystem."

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