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Editorial: Koroilavesau and Staff Can’t Do it Alone, They Need All our Help Keeping Fiji and our Ocean Clean is Everyone’s Responsibility.

Fiji co-chairing the United Nations Oceans Conference is a chance for all Fijians to do something for our ocean. Fisheries Minister and Oceans champion, Semi Koroilavesau is calling for a
10 May 2017 11:00
Editorial: Koroilavesau and Staff Can’t Do it Alone, They Need All our Help Keeping Fiji and our Ocean Clean is  Everyone’s Responsibility.
Minister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau leads charge on oceans protection.

Fiji co-chairing the United Nations Oceans Conference is a chance for all Fijians to do something for our ocean.

Fisheries Minister and Oceans champion, Semi Koroilavesau is calling for a national effort to keeping rubbish out of our ocean. His small team has already taken the first step.

Every Wednesday, led by Mr Koroilavesau, Fisheries Ministry staff clean up the foreshores. One team starts in Suva and another in Lautoka.

This is commendable, but Mr Koroilavesau and his staff cannot do it alone. They need your help, they need our help.

What can you do? The basics- do not litter.

Often when families head to popular sea sides for picnics, they leave behind a sea of rubbish. This is a sad fact. That rubbish washes into the sea and is fatal for marine life.

Fiji is co-hosting the UN conference with Sweden and has played the lead role in calling for this conference to focus on the Sustainable Development Goal 14 which deals specifically with safeguarding our oceans.

Government and civil servants just cannot do it alone. Keeping Fiji and our ocean clean is everyone’s responsibility.

While urging other Government agencies to come on board the clean-up campaign, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is also calling for a national campaign be organised.

And, keeping our surroundings clean and by extension our ocean clean is a no-brainer. We would not keep our homes filthy with rubbish littered at all corners, so why is it so difficult to extend the same common sense when we are out and about?

People continue to throw rubbish out of  cars or buses. It’s almost as if we have no sense of pride in our nation.

Look at the length Singapore has gone to keep their environment clean. On April 1, 2014, the Singaporean Environmental Public Health Act was amended to deter those who continue to act irresponsibly and litter.

Under the revised Act, the maximum fine for littering offenders has been doubled to $2000 for a first conviction. Those who persist can be fined $4000 for their second conviction, and $10,000 for their third and subsequent convictions.

The courts may also impose Corrective Work Orders (CWOs) requiring offenders to clean public areas for up to 12 hours. If Fijians continue to disregard the need to keep our surroundings and our oceans clean, perhaps hefty fines could act as a much needed deterrent.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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