NEWS

Ministry to Look at EIA Reports To Go Online

The Ministry of Environment is looking at avenues of how Environmental Impact As­sessment reports can be made available to public, outside of the consultation period. All reports are currently avail­able
09 Dec 2018 11:55
Ministry to Look at EIA Reports To Go Online

The Ministry of Environment is looking at avenues of how Environmental Impact As­sessment reports can be made available to public, outside of the consultation period.

All reports are currently avail­able to residents of the area where the assessment is being carried out. However it is only during the consultation period.

Responding to questions at the 20th Attorney-General’s Confer­ence which concluded yesterday, the director Environment Sandeep Singh, was told that the more than $4 per page was charged for each page which was too much. She said the ministry was looking into this.

He clarified that while the reports were available during the consulta­tion period, they were looking at avenues to make it available online as well. However, she stressed that it was still being deliberated on.

Apart from this, during her ad­dress, Ms Singh touched on a num­ber of issues while speaking on the fourth session – the interdepend­ence between human rights and the environment.

She revealed that globally, species populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians had declined by 60 per cent in just over 40 years because of a variety of hu­man activities including pollution, deforestation and climate change according to a recently published WWF report.

She said Fiji also has 476 species (both marine and terrestrial) listed on the IUCN Red List out of which 53 species are critically endan­gered, 46 Endangered and 166 near threatened.

Ms Singh said noting the impor­tance of being proactive, the Per­manent Secretary of Environment Joshua Wycliffe has asked for a report to be tabled to him, provid­ing an update on the status of the species.

“We also have a list of marine and terrestrial species that is believed to be threatened with extinction. Fiji’s Scientific Council has been directed to look at the status of these species and report back to the Management Authority chaired by the Permanent Secretary for Envi­ronment by end of this year,” she said.

Government’s role:

“The Government is very con­scious of the impacts from envi­ronmental degradation, waste & pollution and Climate Change. Apart from the protection of rights through suitable legal frameworks, the Government has also specifi­cally allocated resources to protect the environmental-linked rights.”

In this year’s budget Govern­ment has allocated approximately $11.225millon towards environ­ment protection and enforcement related activities.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa



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