The sustainable management of Fiji's fisheries is critical to Fiji's future. Inshore fisheries are of particular importance as they are central to the food security and livelihoods of most coastal communities. Despite this, the management and regulation of inshore (or coastal) fisheries has not kept pace with the growing threats.
This paper forms part of Fiji Environmental Law Association's submission to Fiji's National Fisheries Policy stakeholder consultations. To view the FELA submission to the National Fisheries Policy please click here. The preparation of the paper has also been endorsed by the Fiji National Protected Areas Committee.
FELA WELCOME SENIOR ENVIRONMENT LAWYER
The primary purpose of the Environmental Law Association (FELA) is to promote the sustainable management of natural resources through law. FELA was formed with the support and assistance of the Oceania Office of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a result of concerns that many in the legal community had about the apparent lack of general awareness on issues pertaining to the environment. Despite Fiji having a wide range of environmental laws, it was generally accepted that many were neither effectively implemented nor enforced. FELA seeks to remedy this shortcoming.
The Fiji Environmental Law Association welcomes its new member of the team, Ms Patricia Parkinson. Patricia joins FELA as a part of the Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID) Program. She is a French-Australian environmental law specialist with a wealth of experience, having previously worked with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a senior environmental legal officer. She will be based with FELA for a year where she will focus on building staff capacity. Patricia is a valuable addition to FELA and we look forward to working with her.
FELA attended a 2 day workshop hosted by the US Embassy on Effective Digital and Social Media Strategies for Non Profits Organisations. The workshop was conducted by the Communications Specialist from the University of Illinois, Chicago, Mr Richard O’Rourke.
The workshop was also attended by communications and public relations officers from other NGOs and Government Departments determined to learn how to better utilize various communications tools and social media to attain communications goals.
The Fiji Environmental Law Association in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific - Institute of Applied Science (team) conducted a 3 day training on Fiji's Environment Management Act (EMA) with particular focus on the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and gravel extraction.
Representatives from Government Departments including Department of Environment, Fisheries, Police, Rural Local Authority, Provincial Office, Community chiefs and leaders, women and youth attended the training that was designed to create legal awareness on EMA and the EIA process
Participants were also given a glimpse of the work of fisheries enforcement officers during land patrol before being taken to Nausori Agro Market to learn more about the production and sale of locally produced foods (including fish). The site visit concluded with a lunch and cocktail at the Fiji Club. #FELA2016 #CoastalFisheriesManagement #LegalDevelopmentForum
and its relevance to development activities, particularly gravel extraction and mining, clarify the roles and responsibilities of the authorized agencies and enforcement officers in the EIA process, create awareness on compliance procedures of EMA and the EIA process and practical application and understanding of the process through site visitation to existing development projects.
The 3 day workshop entailed interactive presentations (by the Department of Environment, Ra Provincial Council, Forest, Ra Rural Local Authority, FELA and presentations by the participants of various groups. The training also entailed a site visit to the Golden Point Resort, a recently approved coastal development i.e. hotel featuring dramatic changes to the coastal area, removal of mangroves and building of artificial features including trenches and man-made lagoon. Participants were given the opportunity to raise questions to the managing director on the EIA process, length of time taken to receive approvals, qoliqoli compensation and access to fishing areas post compensation.
FELA hosted a 3 day Fisheries Forum at the Tanoa Plaza Hotel in Suva. The purpose of the forum is to facilitate legal discussion amongst relevant stakeholders on existing legal tools and mechanisms that can contribute to effient fisheries management, identify gaps/loopholes and challenges and look at practical legal solutions to address the gaps. Day 1 of the Legal Forum saw a wide range of issues raised, generating lively exchanges between participants and the facilitators. #FELA2016 #CoastalFisheriesManagement #LegalDevelopmentForum
FELA launched its first publication of the Turtle Enforcement Toolkit titled, “Saving Sea Turtles: A Guide for Law Enforcement" on the 28th of August at the Holiday Inn, Suva.
The Turtle Enforcement Toolkit is designed to improve enforcement of Turtle breaches in Fiji. Designed to give its readers a simple and clear outline of the laws in place regarding sea turtles, the enforcement authorities protecting the species and tips for enforcement authorities with regards to dealing with infringements. The Enforcement Guide introduces its readers to 2 main domestic laws in Fiji protecting turtles and identifies all the criminal offences, provides tips for investigation, defines roles of enforcement officers and their responsibilities.
This exciting event was well attended by members of the Department of Fisheries, the Acting Commissioner of Police, Representative of the DPP members of various NGOs and members of the Public.
The Turtle Enforcement Toolkit is currently being translated in the iTaukei language .and Copies of the English and iTaukei versions will be is available for purchase at the USP Book Center and FELA Office shortly.
Promoting Sustainable Resource Management and the Protection of Fiji's Environment Through Law
Fiji Environmental Law Association
Regulating Fiji's Coastal Fisheries: Policy and Law Discussion Paper is available at the University of the South Pacific Book Center. For further information on how you can get a copy of this enforcement guide, please contact us.