Opinion

Wake Up Fiji! Let’s Walk The Talk And Make The Change

Fiji has embarked on two major international initiatives – co-chairing the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York next month and taking up the Presidency of the Conference of Parties
06 May 2017 11:29
Wake Up Fiji! Let’s Walk The Talk And Make The Change
COP23

Fiji has embarked on two major international initiatives – co-chairing the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York next month and taking up the Presidency of the Conference of Parties (COP)23 meeting in Bonn, Germany, in November.

While much is being done on the international level, we, all Fijians are failing back home.

We would assume that clean pristine environment is the image one would associate with Fiji, but the reality is much different.

The practice of littering that most are guilty of is harming our environment. One thing that we cannot avoid is the fact that we are at the mercy of  what nature throws at us. We have no control over that.

But what we do have control over is our contribution to ensure that we protect and preserve our environment as best as we possibly can. Our oceans and eco systems are under threat by indiscriminate dumping of rubbish and over fishing.

Pollution continues to harm them, It is slowly strangling them. Over fishing caused by the commercial demand continues to be a major threat. A common story that one hears is that people have to travel further out to sea to catch fish. Gone were the days when they were able to catch fish near their homes.

In Fiji we can show the rest of the world that we are serious about climate by taking some concrete steps.

We can keep our environment clean by not littering. We sort of go hot and cold, not realising that every time we litter we threaten our environment and the health of our people.

We still see many vehicles, particularly some buses and trucks belching out thick smoke when they accelerate. Some of our factories are equally guilty. Rules can be strengthened to ensure that it is not only wrong to be polluting the atmosphere but there would be a penalty to act as a deterrent.

All developments must strictly undergo environmental assessments to ensure minimal damage.

Over the years we have seen the effect of climate change on our rivers and coastal areas. Erosion is a  major problem.

This problem is so serious that the Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, has called on the public to address it. It is a national shame that we cannot afford to treat lightly. Nadi, for example, is the first place that tourists see when they disembark from their aircraft. Their first impression of this country will be based on its cleanliness. Mr Bainimarama has championed a clean green environment as part of his climate change crusade.

The Minister for Local Government, Housing, Environment, Infrastructure and Transport, Parveen Bala, has jumped on the bandwagon and announced a “name and shame” initiative as a form of deterrent. We have yet to see a list made public.

We need to act now. It is too late. We can no longer live with such mentality that littering is all right.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

Subscribe to E-Edition
Fijisun E-edition
Rewa Fiji Dairy Ltd
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: