NEWS

‘Development Not At The Expense Of Environment’

No development in Fiji takes place unless it is environmentally sustainable, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama. “There is sometimes a price to pay in terms of short-term financial gain and
08 Jun 2017 11:56
‘Development Not At The Expense Of Environment’
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (right), with a member of the African Caribbean and Pacific delegation at the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York on June 6, 2017. Photo: Jyoti Pratibha

No development in Fiji takes place unless it is environmentally sustainable, says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

“There is sometimes a price to pay in terms of short-term financial gain and this is a price that we are not prepared to pay,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama made the comments during a high level meeting with the African Caribbean and Pacific team yesterday in New York.

“The long-term benefit of responsible development that protects the environment far outweighs any short-term economic consideration.

“Keeping our environment pristine does not mean risking our development.

“We do not believe that putting the health of our environment first in any way jeopardises our development. On the contrary, maintaining the pristine quality of our natural surroundings is front and centre of every development decision we make.”

“We may be powerless to prevent the degradation of our seas and coastlines by other nations on the Pacific Rim who share our ocean but not our commitment.

“When it comes to the areas that we do have control over, we are not prepared to compromise. And I repeat: no development on land or at sea in Fiji takes place if there is any risk to the environment. It is a central tenet of our Green Growth Framework and national development plans. And we are very proud to have drawn this responsible line in the sand.”

On this, he said blue economies become very important.

“Having said that, protecting the environment doesn’t mean sacrificing development.

“The key phrase is sustainable development. And embracing the ‘Blue Economy’ represents an opportunity to realise the great economic potential of the oceans as well as ensuring their long term sustainability.”

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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