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Environment inspectors

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

THE Ministry of iTaukei Affairs will soon have environment inspectors who will be authorised to issue a "stop notice" on any illegal development or activities of natural resources.

The ministry's policy and research unit manager Elisapeci Tamanisau said the 14 provinces would each have an officer.

She revealed this during the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Areas workshop in Bua last week.

Ms Tamanisau said under the Environment Management Act, the inspectors were appointed by the permanent secretary of the Environment Ministry.

She said the officers would have legal powers to inspect and give a "stop notice" to any illegal development or activity involving natural resources.

"The conservation unit which administers the provincial conservation officers is based with the iTaukei Affairs Board, under the umbrella of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs," she said.

"In August this year, the permanent secretary for the Environment Ministry met with the permanent secretary of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs and agreed that the 14 conservation officers must be appointed as environmental officers.

"The logic behind the decision is that the conservation officers were already in existence and serving in each province and they have already been part of the rural machinery.

"Conservation officers are technical officers and are well aware of issues within the respective provinces."

She said they were well-linked to the provincial offices, communities, Government and non-governmental organisations.

"There are many illegal activities going on around the provinces surrounding gravel extraction, logging, collection of samples, fishing, EIA (environmental impact assessment) non-compliance, littering and more," she said.

"These officers will monitor these illegal acts."

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