Environment bond issues clarified

Loraini Vakanawa, left, from the Mataqali Nakausoqo Vunisei, Toga , Mere Tarai and Veranisi Rokobale from the Mataqali Vunilolo, Naselai during the Fiji Land Bank landowners trustees workshop held at the Warwick Resort in Sigatoka yesterday. Picture: VILIMAINA NAQELEVUKI

AN environment bond is paid to the Environment Ministry before a lease is issued for land development to any investor to ensure the land being developed is returned to its original state after developments take place.

This was a statement by acting chief environment officer Sereima Koli of Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources in response to a question raised by Tevita Qounadovu, the chairman of the Natodre Development Trust.

Mr Qounadovu questioned why the environment bond was paid to the Environment Ministry and not paid directly to the landowners.

Ms Koli said under the 2005 Environment Management Act, the environment bond to be paid was decided by the director of the environment.

“This environment bond is to ensure that once the development is completed, if the company cannot return the land to its original state, the Department of Environment will then use the environment bond to restore the land to its original state,” she said.

“The environment bond is to ensure that they rehabilitate the land once they conclude their developments.”

She said the environment bond was not paid directly to the landowners because of the fear that the landowners would not be able to restore the land being developed to its original state.

More Stories