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Moratorium request

Torika Tokalau
Thursday, June 19, 2014

PROFESSOR of Pacific Islands Biogeography at USP Dr Randy Thaman is requesting that a moratorium be placed immediately on the provisionally-approved rezoning of Waibola from residential to heavy industrial.

Dr Thaman, in his joint letter with Asikaia Balawa, the traditional herald in Navakavu Village, the landowners of Waibola, to the Lami Town Council objecting to the proposed rezoning, said to their knowledge, there has not been any recent discussion with the vanua Navakau, i qoliqoli owners and the scientific community.

"We do so (request of moratorium) because of the extremely serious negative environmental, health and social impacts that such a change in land use would have on the residential communities, villages, resorts and other developments west and directly down-stream (down-wind and down-current) of the proposed development," Dr Thaman said.

"We do so also because there seems to have been little recent open and transparent consultation or discussion with the official representatives of vanua Navakavu, the landowners and fisheries custodians of the area, and with other concerned parties and the informed scientific community, despite the magnitude of potential impacts."

He said they were expressing their concern as two people who had worked for more than 15 years with the vanua Navakavu to assess the state of, and to protect, the environment and fisheries.

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