NEWS

Parties on environment

The preservation of the environment from the ever rising effects of climate change has become a global phenomenon. Fiji is no exception. Political parties have highlighted their plan to fight
14 Aug 2014 07:40

The preservation of the environment from the ever rising effects of climate change has become a global phenomenon. Fiji is no exception.

Political parties have highlighted their plan to fight for the preservation of the environment in their manifestos.

Below is an overview on their policies:

NFP

The National Federation Party believes that protecting Fiji’s biodiversity is an important environmental challenge, requiring research, regulation and protection through sustainable management practices.

The party in their manifesto highlighted they would:

• Put in place strategies and measures to ensure that utilisation of natural resources are in a manner that retains maximum value to the country and provides maximum benefits to resource owners.

• Urgently implement mining projects and accelerate the mining industry and create a transparent and consistent policy for environmental management.

• Review all existing legislation, policies and strategies on controlling pollution, increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

PDP

The People’s Democratic Party believes in a green future. They said they would pursue policies that promoted a sustainable environment to be enjoyed now that should be preserved for the future generation.

In recognising the threats posed by global warming, the PDP would engage with local and international stakeholders to minimise the impact of the phenomenon. In addition, they said a PDP government would:

• Allocate budget towards sustainable environment programmes with a specific climate change, bio diversity, waste management and pollution and would increase funding for resources research into renewable energy.

• Introduce classes on environmental education in schools.

SODELPA

The Social Democratic Liberal Party in their manifesto claimed that the Bainimarama-led government had been disinterested in the adverse impact of development and other factors on the environment. This, they claimed was shown through the destruction of mangroves along the Lami- Naboro highway and the lack of concerns over the environmental impact of bauxite mining in Bua and exploration for copper at Namosi.

If it wins power SODELPA said it would:

• Ensure a clean environment with protection of biodiversity, conservation of flora and fauna, and embracing the principles of sustainability.

• Ensure Fiji’s natural heritage is preserved for generations to come and protected against the effects of climate change and global warming.

• Devote more resources to developing public awareness of the need for the entire community to be involved in environmental conservation and protection. All the relevant legislation will be reviewed and adapted as necessary to meet Fiji’s needs.

• Stop and reverse the environmental degradation of the last eight years causing major damage to mangroves which are a source of food and marine life, a natural filter and protector of the shoreline.

• Listen closely to environmental representations, especially on mining and exploration, from landowners and all members of the public.

• Ensure the law is applied to remove noxious emissions from buses and trucks and other vehicles.

• Ensure legislation fully protects the public interest while taking into account the economic needs of the country.

• Crack down on the rubbish dumpers and ensure they face court action.

• Ensure that plastic bags are made from biodegradable material and that they are not dumped at will.

• Develop a mineral and mining industry that is sensitive to and compatible with our national aspirations including, conservation and sustainable economic growth.

FijiFirst

At the one-day Green Growth Framework Summit in July, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama challenged stakeholders to consider new ways in which resources can be protected and sustained.

This is likely to be one of the strategies his party will take in regards to the environment.

He said there was a need to reshape development strategies away from the conventional growth model of exploiting particular resources for own use.

His plans are to:

• refine existing approaches and forge a new development model – one that is more holistic, integrated, inclusive and above all sustainable.

He said the term ‘green growth” has been adopted globally to describe a path of economic growth which uses natural resources in a sustainable manner.

“In our clamour to grow our economies and raise the living standards of our people, we have far too often sacrificed our precious surroundings and squandered our natural resources.

“More and more, we have come to realise that we must overhaul our economies in a way that links economic growth and environmental protection hand in hand.

We need to build green economies in which the driver of growth is a more intelligent and effective use of our resources, along with their sustainable management.”

• People need to be a lot smarter in the way they use resources – whether they fish at sea – so that as people extract the most income from them for developmental needs but still protect so that people can keep living off them now, and into the future.

“We’ve had to think for ourselves what is required rather than look to others because very few developing countries, let alone small island developing states, have embarked on this journey before.

“And it (Green Growth Framework) will benefit not only Fijians but be ready to serve as a model for our island neighbours, who look to us for leadership on this issue as they do on other things relating to their own development.”

The green growth policy will complement the Trade Policy Framework being developed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade so as to ensure that while resources are protected and sustained, it does not impede on developing new areas of investments and trade.

FLP

The Fiji Labour Party would give priority to the conservation of Fiji’s biodiversity and would monitor the exploitation of marine resources to ensure long term sustainability.

They would also promulgate regulations and ensure strict adherence to limit pollution from gas emissions as well as industries.

FLP would also enforce better protection and conservation of the mangrove resources as a means of preventing coastal erosion.

FUTP

The Fiji United Freedom Party leader Nayagodamu Korovou said the party’s main motive in protecting the environment would be to reduce gas emissions by at least 30 per cent by year end.

This, they said would be achieved through the introduction of more LPG taxis on our roads. Mr Korovou said LPG taxis were smoke free and environmentally friendly.

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

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