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RESET FIJI: Environment And Climate Change Top Dialogue

I wonder if Nasinu Town was put on lockdown, could it survive on its own? Could Suva survive without Nasinu? - Mere Naulumatua, Fiji Planners Association president
29 Jun 2020 13:07
RESET FIJI: Environment And Climate Change Top Dialogue
From MaiTV’s Reset Fiji Programme (Left-Right): Jale Samuwai, Mere Naulumatua, Stanley Simpson, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Captain Jonathan Smith and Jodi Smith. Photo: Reset Fiji Facebook

Captain Jonathan Smith says that Fiji has to follow the island of Palau to learn to keep the environment, and ocean clean.

Speaking at ‘Reset Fiji – A People’s Post COVID-19 dialogue series’, Captain Smith said that his eyes were blown wide open on a work trip to Palau.

“You stand on the wall and a big container ship comes along, you look down, and you can actually see some fish and everything about 10 to 50m down,” he said.

Captain Smith, who is also the operations manager of the Dive Center Fiji, said in Fiji, if you looked into the water, all that could be seen was pollution.

The third episode of Reset Fiji revolved around one of the growing concerns: the environment and climate change.

Reset Fiji– A People’s Post COVID-19 dialogue series was aired on MaiTV on June 28, 2020.

 

Jale Samuwai

The solution for both climate change and pandemic lie within us and is embedded in the practices, values and relationship in our communities.

This was the message of Jale Samuwai, who is the first islander, who holds a doctorate in climate change.

“We have to appreciate and realise that the solutions that Fiji is seeking to address both climate change and the pandemic lies within,” he said.

“It is embedded in the practices, the values and the relationship that have so long been the glue of our communities.”

He is a son of Bua Province from Cogea Village, with maternal ties to Cakaudrove.

 

Sangeeta Mangubhai

Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Sangeeta Mangubhai, said that there was a need to build and invest in a resilient coastal fisheries sector, not just fishing but the supply and value chain as well.

“To be resilient means keeping our fisheries healthy, so that they can withstand shocks like cyclones, economic disruptions, and can continue to provide us food and livelihoods,” Ms Mangubhai said.

She is a specialist in designing and monitoring programmes to understand impacts of disturbances on coral reef communities, and the return of investment of conservation strategies.

 

Mere Naulumatua

The president of the newly formed Fiji Planners Association, Mere Naulumatua, said local governments for each municipality with councils needed to be brought back into the system.

She said that the local governments were the ordinary citizens’ first line of contact with the Government.

“During the lockdown of Lautoka City, one could not help, but notice how the Lautoka Ratepayers Association mobilised itself to help the disadvantaged. Council was relegated to distributing health messages and ensuring people followed the law. There was a major disconnect between ratepayers and local government,” she said.

“I wonder if Nasinu Town was put on lockdown, could it survive on its own? Could Suva survive without Nasinu?”

Local governments were abolished in 2016 that have left municipalities to be run by special administration committees.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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